U.S. deploying THAAD to South Korea to boost defense versus North Korea missiles: White House

FILE PHOTO - A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency. U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency/Handout via Reuters/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is deploying an advanced anti-missile defense 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 behavior" 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)