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15 Mar, 2013 19:16

US to boost missile defense against North Korea

US to boost missile defense against North Korea

United States Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the US will have 14 missile interceptors up and running by 2017 in order to curb the threat of an attack from North Korea.

Sec. Hagel, who joined President Barack Obama’s official cabinet earlier this year, said the interceptors will go up along the US West Coast as a precautionary measure while the threat of an assault from North Korea continues to climb.

“The United States stands firm against aggression,” Sec. Hagel said during a Friday afternoon press conference.

Announcing the decision during the briefing, Hagel said the decision will ensure that America “Maintains out commitment to our allies.”

Earlier in the week, James Miller, defense undersecretary for policy, told reporters that that the Pentagon has the ability to deploy up to 14 additional missile interceptors "if needed,” but declined to say any plans had been set in stone. On Friday, however, Sec. Hagel and other Defense Department top-brass confirmed that the US would be installing the interceptors, citing a growing threat from both North Korean and Iran.

The 14 interceptors will accompany 30 already in place at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California and Fort Greely, Alaska, and additionally the Pentagon says it plans to deploy a radar tracking station in Japan.