As the White House works to “maximize pressure” on North Korea, one of the ways it is hoping to turn up the heat is by deploying a high-powered anti-missile defense system to the region. During his trip to South Korea Monday, Vice President Mike Pence confirmed that the U.S. will continue with its plans to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to South Korea, despite persisting objections from China.

The U.S. announced the first stage of the deployment in early March, with officials estimating it could take several months before the system is fully operational.According to the Lockheed Martin website, THAAD is “one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world,” and is capable of defending against short and medium-range ballistic missiles. The system is designed to shoot down ballistic missiles at distances of more than 120 miles, and at altitudes of nearly 90 miles. READ MORE