The United States plans to speed up deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system to South Korea given the pace of North Korea's missile tests, and it will be stationed there "as soon as possible," a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday.
Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asia, also told a congressional hearing the United States was in discussions with international partners, including the European Union, to deny North Korea access to international banking infrastructure after its recent nuclear and missile tests.
Russel told the Asia Pacific subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee the exact timing of the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system was a matter for the Pentagon.
But he added: "Given the accelerating pace of North Korea's missile tests, we intend to deploy on an accelerated basis - I would say as soon as possible."
Asked if the deployment was a "done deal," Russel replied: "Yes, I do."