Hagel: U.S. to Deploy More Interceptors to Counter North Koreaإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The U.S. military will deploy an additional 14 anti-missile interceptors in Alaska in response to a mounting threat from nuclear-armed North Korea, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Friday.
The United States already has 30 interceptors in place in California and Alaska and the additional weaponry would be fielded by 2017, the Pentagon chief told reporters.
The move was designed to "stay ahead of the threat" posed by North Korea's advances in technology for an intercontinental ballistic missile, Hagel said.
"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 is engaged in a series of irresponsible and reckless provocations," he said.
North Korea has missiles that can strike South Korea and Japan but has yet to demonstrate it has the capability to fire long-range ICBMs.
U.S. officials worry, however, that the North has made progress on that front, having put a satellite into orbit, while Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program underlines concerns over the potential danger.
North Korea has issued a wave of drastic threats in recent days and announced it has abandoned the 60-year-old armistice that ended the Korean War.