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US mulls west coast missile defense locations amid North Korea nuclear threat

THAAD is designed to intercept and destroy short and medium-range ballistic missiles during their final phase of flight
Ben Listerman (DoD/AFP/File)
North Korea's third missile test showcased weapons 'capable of striking the whole mainland US'

The United States security agency that focuses on protecting the country from missile attacks is scanning the west coast for locations to deploy new anti-missile defenses, two Congressman revealed on Saturday according to Reuters.

Amid a growing nuclear North Korea and following its recent provocative launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the United States is seeking out new ways to defend itself in the face of a possible attack.

On Wednesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un conducted its third successful test and said his country had achieved full nuclear statehood. “Now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing state nuclear force,” he said.

KCNA, the North’s official news agency added, in what has been perceived as a direct threat to the US, that the “intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hawasong-15 type weaponry system...is capable of striking the whole mainland of the US.”

Defenses would likely included Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missiles which are ground-based regional systems that shoot down incoming missiles. However, congressman have stated that the number of defense systems deployed is yet to be determined.

- (KCNA VIA KNS/AFP)

Republican Congressman Mike Rogers, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, said the the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), was aiming to install extra protection at the west coast sites but stated that several sites were “competing” for the defense installations.

“It’s just a matter of the location, and the MDA making a recommendation as to which site meets their criteria for location, but also the environment impact,” he told Reuters during an interview.

Whilst Missile Defense Agency deputy director Jon Hill stated that he had, “received no tasking to site the THAAD system on the West Coast,” a THAAD developer spokesperson added that the contractor was “ready to support the MDA and the US government” in their defence efforts, according to reports by Sky News.

The US currently has nine THAAD systems, many of the locations are unknown however two of which are are deployed in South Korea.

(Staff with agencies)

Comments

(1)

A truism that seems to have been forgotten..."Prevention is better than a cure"...in other words the eradication of a regime that stamps on the neck of its own people to perpetuate a dynasty of a trio of megalomaniacs with Kim UN as the latest iteration. Democracies never learn from history though often quoting examples;...suggest one of the most recent being Hitler and Nazi Germany, imagine if he had been stamped upon earlier. Hopefully we are not too late with Nth Korea because as sure as eggs are eggs there will be conflict, real and bloody.

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