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

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

update At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid