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Story highlights

THAAD missile defense battery will be deployed in Seongju county

South Korea says the battery is necessary to protect it from the North

(CNN) —  

South Korea has announced the deployment of an advanced anti-missile system in Seongju county in the country’s south.

In a statement, Deputy National Defense Minister Yoo Jeh Seung said the location for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery would “maximize the military effectiveness of the THAAD battery while ensuring the safety of the local population.”

Washington and Seoul announced the battery’s deployment last week, in a move that outraged North Korea, which has threatened to “physically act” against the THAAD and make the allies “suffer from the nightmare extreme uneasiness and terror.”

Yoo said the battery will be able to “protect one half to two-thirds of the entirety of our citizens from North Korean nuclear and missile threats and will dramatically strengthen the military capabilities and readiness to defend critical national infrastructure such as nuclear power plants and oil storage facilities.”

An official with South Korea’s Defense Ministry told CNN the U.S. and South Korea “will be deploying THAAD for combat as soon as possible, by the end of next year at the latest.”

’Unjustified’

THAAD can shoot down short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles at incredible speed and altitude, and has been used by the U.S. for years to protect its military units.

China and Russia have also voiced strong concerns over the THAAD battery. Last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said its deployment was “unjustified.”

South Korea has reiterated that THAAD is purely defensive in nature and will solely be used against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.

Speaking to senior presidential secretaries, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Monday that North Korea’s threats are “life-threatening issues” against the future and life of Korean people.

“There is no reason for us to use THAAD against or intrude security interests of a third party country besides North Korea,” she added.