US to beef up missile defense against NKorea

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Associated Press

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 15 at 6:30 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is beefing up its missile defense system in response to North Korea's latest threats.

The Pentagon announced today it will spend $1 billion to add 14 interceptors in Alaska, responding to what it calls faster-than-anticipated North Korean progress on nuclear weapons and missiles.

In announcing the decision, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel acknowledged the interceptors already in place to defend against potential missile strikes have had poor test performances.

Hagel says he's determined to protect the U.S. homeland and stay ahead of a worrisome North Korean missile threat.

The 14 additional interceptors will be installed at Fort Greely, Alaska, where 26 already stand in underground silos.

Hagel says a portion of the $1 billion cost of the expanded system will come from scrapping the final phase of a missile defense system the U.S. is building in Europe.

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GRAPHICSBANK: Chuck Hagel headshot, as US Defense Secretary, announcing change to US missile defense at the Pentagon, over DoD seal, partial graphic (15 Mar 2013)

APPHOTO VACO108: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon, Friday, March 15, 2013, to announce that the Obama administration will add 14 interceptors to a West Coast-based U.S.-based missile defense system reflecting concern about North Korea's focus on developing nuclear weapons and its advances in long-range missile technology. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) (15 Mar 2013)

<<APPHOTO VACO108 (03/15/13)>>

APPHOTO VACO105: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks with reporters at the Pentagon, Friday, March 15, 2013, after announcing that the Obama administration will add 14 interceptors to a West Coast-based U.S.-based missile defense system reflecting concern about North Korea's focus on developing nuclear weapons and its advances in long-range missile technology. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) (15 Mar 2013)

<<APPHOTO VACO105 (03/15/13)>>

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