US THAAD Could not Intercept China's ICBMs: Ex-US Official

By Prei Dy, | May 12, 2017

A former US official said that US' THAAD is not capable of intercepting China's ICBMs. (YouTube)

A former US official said that US' THAAD is not capable of intercepting China's ICBMs. (YouTube)

The US' Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, deployed in South Korea, does not have the ability to intercept China's intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), a former US official said.

"THAAD is a theater missile defense capability that does not have the capability of intercepting Chinese ICBMs," Frank Rose, a former Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance, said on Wednesday.

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Just like Russia, China could install counter-measures to foil ballistic missile interceptors aimed at ICBMs, Defense World reported.

"The Chinese have very sophisticated counter-measures... Our limited ground-based interceptor (GBI) system does not have the capability to intercept Chinese ICBMs," he said.

Both China and Russia have agreed to boost their coordinated efforts to oppose US' plan to deploy the THAAD missile system in North Korea. Both countries believe that the THAAD deployment would not "create conditions conducive to resolving the nuclear, as well as other issues, on the Korean Peninsula."

Furthermore, they said that the THAAD deployment would not only destabilize the Korean Peninsula and that THAAD's powerful radar system could penetrate their territories and threaten their respective countries.

The US and South Korea, on the other hand, have stated that the THAAD would be used as a countermeasure against North Korea's ballistic missiles and does not aim to target any other nations. However, recent reports suggested that Pyongyang has developed ballistic missiles specifically meant to neutralize the THAAD.

The Congressional Research Service noted that Pyongyang's latest ballistic missile could be "potentially more difficult to intercept with a defense system. North Korea has demonstrated an ability to launch a salvo attack."

The missiles are reportedly designed to cruise at angles that the THAAD could not potentially intercept. Moreover, the nuclear warheads attached to these missiles could allegedly fly at steeper angles and move at faster speed once they re-enter the Earth's surface.

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