News / Asia

US to Send Missile Defenses to Guam

US To Send Missile Defenses to Guami
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April 03, 2013
The Pentagon plans to deploy missile defense batteries to its Pacific island territory of Guam to counter threats from North Korea, including the latest warning by Pyongyang to take "actual military countermeasures" against the United States involving, it said, cutting edge nuclear weapons. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday that the North’s rhetoric presents a real and clear danger - and one that is not likely to go away soon. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
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Luis Ramirez
— The Pentagon plans to deploy missile defense batteries to its Pacific island territory of Guam to counter threats from North Korea, including the latest warning by Pyongyang to take "actual military countermeasures" against the United States involving, it said, cutting edge nuclear weapons.  U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday that the North’s rhetoric presents a real and clear danger - and one that is not likely to go away soon.

As the rhetoric from the North has become louder, so have the warnings from U.S. military leaders that they are prepared to respond to any action from Pyongyang against the United States and its allies.

The Pentagon is sending its advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system - seen here in a test in 2009 - to Guam in the latest signal that Washington will do what it takes to defend its interests.  

Guam is one of the places North Korea has threatened to strike, along with South Korea, Hawaii and the continental United States.

The threats may seem implausible, but Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says they cannot be ignored.

“We take those threats seriously," said Chuck Hagel. "We have to take those threats seriously.  I think we’ve had measured responsible, serious responses to those threats.”   

The U.S. is carrying out routine, joint exercises with South Korea. But U.S. forces have recently intensified their display of might, flying long-range bombers, including B-2 stealth bombers, over the Korean Peninsula that are capable of taking out nuclear installations. The U.S. Navy has also positioned anti-missile destroyers in the area.

For U.S. officials, the key is to avoid miscalculations that, in the worst case, could touch off a nuclear conflict.

“It only takes being wrong once and I don’t want to be the Secretary of Defense who was wrong once," said Hagel.

Putting missile defense on Guam marks a significant step for the United States - one it says is a precautionary move meant to strengthen the capabilities of American forces in the region - just in case North Korea’s threats turn out to be real.

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Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
April 04, 2013 1:52 AM
Steady she goes.. keep it cool! The precautionary moves made, by the US and Allies, are in good order. It is clear that NKorea continues to bark, while doing so it is not likely to bite. The civilian population, in SKorea, need to be well prepared, and drilled, to ensure they know what to do if a confrontation comes about; such civil defense drills should be carried out periodically and routinely; such drills will show the prepardness by all.

All assets, especially maritime assets, need to be well prepared and in a high state of readiness. In a couple of weeks, hopefully, the situation will start to clarify, because the NKorean leadership's rethoric will start having a lesser effect on their people; a state of heigthened fevered pitch tension can only be sustained for a few weeks. Let us hope it all runs down. Keep an eye on the nuts and let them vent to reduce their pressure; every one should carry on as usual.


by: Mario Diaz from: Mexico
April 03, 2013 10:49 PM
U.S. you don't own the world you are fully armed and according with YOUR philosophy nobody else deserve to be armed, I'm not saying that I agree with Mr Northkorean, but I DO NOT agree with you I read "our island of guam" why you have properties in another countries? ha! as always Irak, Afganistan, and many other coutries why you always are trying to control the world? and always you are superior in many ways abussing from small and poor countries killing whatever you find on your way...GREAT BUSINESS RIGHT?

In Response

by: dwight from: dc
April 04, 2013 7:24 PM
what a retarded post. it's funny you bash the U.S.A. as it enables Mexico to have a decent standard of living. All the illegal aliens sending money to Mexico, combined with jobs American companies provide in Mexico, allow Mexico to have a higher standard of living than many eastern european countries.


by: Stephen Real from: Columbia USA
April 03, 2013 7:37 PM
North Korea is one step closer to total and complete annihilation. I suggest they tread carefully because I have no issue with ending this crisis the hard way.


by: ALI BABA from: NEW YORK
April 03, 2013 7:27 PM
WE DO NOT WANT ANOTHER WAR WHAVER THE REASOND.EVEN NORTH KOREA IS RUN BY MAD MAN,IS NOT THE SOLUTION.WAR

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