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A barbed-wire fence is set up around a golf course owned by Lotte, where the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system will be deployed, in Seongju, South Korea, March 1, 2017. Kim Joon-beom/Yonhap via REUTERS

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is deploying an advanced anti-missile defence system to South Korea as part of steps to bolster its ability to defend against North Korean ballistic missiles, the White House said on Monday.

North Korea's launching of four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan's northwest earlier on Monday is consistent with its history of "provocative behaviour" and the United States stands with its allies against the threat, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters.

"The Trump administration is taking steps to enhance our ability to defend against North Korea's ballistic missiles such as through the deployment of a THAAD battery to South Korea," he said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Washington Newsroom; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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