News / USA

US Strengthening Missile Defenses Against North Korea, Iran

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks with reporters after announcing the U.S. will add 14 interceptors to a West Coast-based U.S.-based missile defense system, at the Pentagon, March 15, 2013.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks with reporters after announcing the U.S. will add 14 interceptors to a West Coast-based U.S.-based missile defense system, at the Pentagon, March 15, 2013.
The United States is strengthening ground-based missile defenses after threats by North Korea against South Korea and the United States. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke with reporters in Washington.

Fourteen interceptors capable of destroying ballistic missiles in flight will be added to an existing West Coast defense system.

North Korea conducted its third nuclear test last month. Pyongyang has threatened a preemptive nuclear attack on the United States and South Korea, and ratcheted up threats linked to joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

The North also has threatened to void the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War.

Hagel said the U.S. is acting to stay ahead of challenges posed by North Korean, and Iranian, development of longer range ballistic missile capabilities.

"The United States has missile defense systems in place to protect us from limited ICBM attacks, but North Korea in particular, has recently made advances in its capabilities and has engaged in a series of irresponsible and reckless provocations," he said.

The 14 additional interceptors will increase to 44 the number in the United States. Hagel said this will provide a 50-percent increase in defense capability.

Also announced is a plan to build an additional radar facility in Japan, and environmental studies for an additional interceptor site in the United States.

Part of the European Phased Adaptive missile defense system will be shifted to bolster U.S. ground-based defenses. Hagel said this does not lessen the U.S. commitment to NATO missile defense or affect plans for 23 interceptors in Poland.

Undersecretary for Defense Policy James Miller said the U.S. informed South Korea and Japan about the plans. He said China was informed as well, but he declined to characterize Beijing's response.

Admiral James Winnefeld, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, referred to a speech this past week by President Barack Obama's National Security Adviser, Tom Donilon, who said the U.S. was fully capable of responding to North Korean actions.

"We not only intend to put the mechanics in place to deny any potential North Korean objectives to launch a missile at the United States, but also to impose costs upon them if they do, and we believe that this young lad [North Korean leader Kim Jong Un] ought to be deterred by that and if he is not, we will be ready," said Donilon.

Winnefeld spoke about concerns the U.S. has about a speeding up of North Korean ballistic missile development, elevated after a North Korean Taepodong-2 launched a satellite into Earth orbit last year.

Undersecretary Miller said at least one reported North Korea missile type, the KN-08, probably does have the range to reach the United States, although he declined to go into details of intelligence assessments on the missile's development status.  

Plans call for the new interceptors to be fielded by 2017 at a cost that officials put at about $1 billion. Officials said some additional testing will take place in coming months.

You May Like

Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sam from: US
March 16, 2013 3:43 PM
International Policy Digest has an interesting article regarding North Korea’s behavior toward the West and how its belligerence is nothing more than a failing regime finally acknowledging their rule is coming to an end.

http://www.internationalpolicydigest.org/2013/03/15/petulant-child-north-korea-and-chastisement/


by: JKF from: Ottawa, canada
March 15, 2013 8:03 PM
An excellent and wise move; the sooner those extra sys are up the better. No more Pearl Harbour suprises.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Accuses Russia of Territorial Incursionsi
X
Zlatica Hoke
August 28, 2014 4:07 AM
Ukraine says a key border town (Novoazovsk) and surrounding areas of in southeastern Ukraine have fallen under the control of Russia's military. President Poroshenko says "Russian troops have actually been brought into Ukraine." Despite repeated denials from Moscow, Ukraine accuses the Kremlin of providing weapons and fighters to separatists in eastern Ukraine, toward the Russian leadership's alleged goal of annexing that strategic territory. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Accuses Russia of Territorial Incursions

Ukraine says a key border town (Novoazovsk) and surrounding areas of in southeastern Ukraine have fallen under the control of Russia's military. President Poroshenko says "Russian troops have actually been brought into Ukraine." Despite repeated denials from Moscow, Ukraine accuses the Kremlin of providing weapons and fighters to separatists in eastern Ukraine, toward the Russian leadership's alleged goal of annexing that strategic territory. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid