In the wake of recent North Korean missile and nuclear tests, plus increasingly belligerent rhetoric from Pyongyang, the Pentagon announced Friday that it was adding to US anti-missile defenses.
In the wake of North Korean missile and nuclear tests and what seems like increasingly belligerent pronouncements from Pyongyang, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Friday that the US is beefing up its missile defense system.
That system, 30 anti-missile missiles based in Alaska (26) and California (4), is to be increased to 44 defense missiles in the coming years.
“We will strengthen homeland missile defense by deploying 14 additional ground-based interceptors, GBIs, at Fort Greely, Alaska,” Secretary Hagel said. “These additional GBIs will provide a nearly 50 percent increase in our missile defense capability.”
In addition to the US-based defense missiles, the US Navy has ballistic missile defense ships cruising off the Korean Peninsula. The US has Patriot missile defense batteries in South Korea, and Japan is developing missile defense systems as well.
How likely is it that North Korean missiles could reach US targets?
“We are confident we could defeat a threat from North Korea today,” Air Force General Robert Kehler, chief of the U.S. Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee this week. But, he added, “Their activities have our attention, and it has our concern.”
Or as President Obama told ABC News the other day, "They probably can't [hit the United States], but we don't like the margin of error.”