In a defiant bit of timing, South Korea announced Wednesday
that key parts of a contentious U.S. missile defense system have been
installed a day after rival North Korea showed off its military power.
The South’s trumpeting of progress in setting up the
Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, comes as
high-powered U.S. military assets converge on the Korean Peninsula and
as a combative North Korea signals possible nuclear and missile testing.
North Korea conducted live-fire artillery drills on Tuesday,
the 85th anniversary of the founding of its million-person strong
Korean People’s Army. On the same day, a U.S. guided-missile submarine
docked in South Korea. And the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier is also
headed toward the peninsula for a joint exercise with South Korea.