The US says THAAD was installed to counter a growing nuclear threat from North Korea, but the 170 people who live in the village where it is based say setting up a missile defence system on their front door is asking for trouble.

 A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor being launched during successful intercept test.
A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor being launched during successful intercept test.

What is THAAD?

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile system is designed to counter and shoot medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles.

THAAD's powerful radar allows for missiles to be detected and destroyed before they are launched. With a range of up to 200 kilometres and the ability to reach altitudes of 150 kilometres, it is specifically designed to counter a possible missile attack from North Korea.

Lockheed Martin, the security and aerospace company that was the main contractor for the system said it is highly mobile and is comprised of interceptors, launchers, a radar, a fire control unit, and support equipment.

The United States has previously deployed THAAD in Hawaii in 2010, and in Guam in 2013, in its bid to block potential attacks from North Korea.

THAAD in South Korea became operational on Tuesday.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies