4 December 2015
According to The Japan Times, if the study confirms compatibility of the THAAD system and ground-based SM-3 interceptors currently operated by Japan, the systems could be deployed during the next five-year defense buildup program starting in 2019.
The THAAD is a missile defense system capable of shooting down short, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. In July, North Korea said it might boost nuclear deterrent should the United States deploy a mobile missile defense systems in South Korea.
North Korea declared itself a nuclear power in 2005 and conducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013, having earlier withdrawn from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that it ratified in 1985.
Pyongyang has long boasted of
missile launches. In October,
North Korea has displayed
ballistic missiles during a
military parade marking the 70th
anniversary of the ruling