The military announced late Monday that the U.S. missile defense system shipped to South Korea is ready to intercept missiles from North Korea.

"U.S. Forces Korea confirms the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is operational and has the ability to intercept North Korean missiles and defend the Republic of the Korea," said Col. Rob Manning, a U.S. Forces Korea spokesman.

Installation of the THAAD system follows weeks of rising tensions between North Korea and much of Asia, after dictator Kim Jong Un has continued to push ahead with nuclear weapons and ballistic missile testing.

President Trump has warned that a "major" conflict with North Korea is possible, and arranged for the THAAD system to be set up to boost South Korea's defenses.

After some confusion last week about who would pay for the system, national security adviser H.R. McMaster said that, barring a renegotiation, the U.S. will adhere to their agreement to pay for the system.