The United States has reaffirmed that the THAAD deployment to South Korea is a national security issue for its allies and that Seoul and Washington stand firmly by their plans for the installment of the missile defense system.
White House spokesperson Sean Spicer said Tuesday that the two allies are closely cooperating to protect South Korea and Japan from North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations.
The State Department also called the THAAD deployment a countermeasure against Pyongyang's "bad behavior," reiterating that it's not a threat against China.
In the wake of the latest North Korean missile launches, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will head to South Korea, Japan and China next week for the first time since he took office.
Tillerson is expected to discuss various issues, including North Korea's missile and nuclear threats.