US Plans Anti-Ballistic Missile Deployment Following North Korea Rocket Launch

US Plans Anti-Ballistic Missile Deployment Following North Korea Rocket Launch
Gainful Ed Brambley / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
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A recent missile launch by North Korea has triggered a strong U.S. response as recent reports indicate the country is looking to move an anti-ballistic defense system closer to Pyongyang.


The U.S. Strategic Command says its systems detected a missile launched by North Korea at 7:29 P.M., EST last February 6. The long-range rocket launch was said to have been done for scientific and “peaceful purposes” just a month after the country had also conducted a nuclear test. According to a report on CNN, North Korea had actually held celebrations for the country’s satellite launch into orbit with a fireworks display Monday night. Many believe that North Korea’s recent launch is actually for the testing of a ballistic missile. Moreover, South Korea has reportedly recovered as much as 270 pieces of debris from the said rocket launch. A South Korean Defense Ministry official says it is now working on analyzing the objects.

In a statement by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice, she said that the U.S. condemns North Korea’s recent launch, which reflects a “diversion of scarce resources to such destabilizing activities.” At the same time, the United Nations Security Council also said it is looking to “expeditiously” adopt a new resolution in response to North Korea’s new “dangerous and serious violations.” Secretary of State John Kerry calls the launch “a flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolutions.” He also emphasized that the U.S. has an “ironclad commitment” to defend its allies such as South Korea and Japan.

Since North Korea’s missile launch, Pentagon reports that the U.S. is looking to hold talks with South Korea over the possibility of deploying a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense System or THAAD to the Korean peninsula “as soon as possible.” According to Reuters, the U.S. had actually decided to move one of its five THAAD systems to Guam back in 2013 following some threats from North Korea. Now, it is looking to covert a Hawaii test site into a combat-ready facility that would utilize a land based version of the Aegis missile defense system.

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The THAAD system was actually developed by Lockheed Martin Corp and one of the four THAAD systems based in Fort Bliss, Texas is reportedly set for overseas deployment. Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance founder Riki Ellison says it can be sent over to South Korea or Japan in a matter of weeks.

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