Aide sus­pended for hid­ing news of ex­panded U.S. de­fense

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

SEOUL | A se­nior South Korean de­fense of­fi­cial was sus­pended Mon­day for de­lib­er­ately fail­ing to re­port to new lib­eral Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in the ar­rival of sev­eral more launch­ers for a con­tentious U.S. mis­sile de­fense sys­tem, Mr. Moon’s of­fice said.

Mr. Moon’s con­ser­va­tive pre­de­ces­sor, Park Geun-hye, had al­lowed the United States to de­ploy the Ter­mi­nal High-Al­ti­tude Area De­fense sys­tem to deal with North Korean nu­clear threats. A THAAD bat­tery is nor­mally op­er­ated with six launch­ers, and two of them were pub­licly in­stalled in a south­east­ern South Korean town in late April, days be­fore Mr. Moon took of­fice on May 10.

Last week, Mr. Moon’s of­fice said it found that four more launch­ers have since ar­rived in South Korea, but that de­fense of­fi­cials didn’t men­tion them in pol­icy brief­ings they gave in late May. Moon de­manded a probe, call­ing the in­ci­dent “very shock­ing,” ac­cord­ing to his aides. Mr. Moon’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion or­der has prompted me­dia spec­u­la­tion about its mo­tives.

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