US begins moving missile defense system to deployment site in South Korea: report
The United States military is moving parts of its THAAD missile defense system into a deployment site in South Korea, the Yonhap News Agency reported Tuesday.
The defense system is intended to shoot down short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. Six trailers carrying parts of the THAAD system were taken to a deployment site at a South Korean golf course.
The decision to move the equipment ignited a dispute between law enforcement officials and local residents, Yonhap reported.
The move comes amid increased tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Concerns have grown in recent weeks that the north could be preparing to launch its sixth nuclear test.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has increased its military presence in the region, saying earlier this month that it would be sending a Navy strike group closer to the Korean Peninsula. Top Trump administration officials have repeatedly said that they are keeping military options on the table.
The north staged a large-scale artillery drill on Tuesday to mark the 85th anniversary of the founding of its army.
China has warned against moving the missile defense system into place, arguing that it is not likely to help deter North Korea and could be seen as a provocation by the U.S.