Thursday, April 04, 2013

US to Move Missile Defenses to Guam

US Army THAAD System Missile Launch (Photo courtesy of DoD)
According to a published BBC Asia report the U.S. is sending a missile shield to the Pacific island of Guam as North Korea threatens nuclear strikes. The Pentagon said the shield would be ready within weeks, adding to warships that were sent to the area earlier.

The North had named Guam among a list of possible targets for attack that included Hawaii and the US mainland. North Korea is not thought to have the technology to strike the US mainland with either a nuclear weapon or a ballistic missile, analysts say. But it is capable of targeting US military bases in the region with its mid-range missiles.

The US Department of Defense said on Wednesday it would deploy the ballistic Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (Thaad) to Guam in the coming weeks. The Thaad system includes a truck-mounted launcher and interceptor missiles. The Pentagon said the deployment would "strengthen our regional defence posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat".
The US floated plans to send a Thaad system to Guam in 2009, but never followed through.

US officials recently also announced that the USS John McCain, a destroyer capable of intercepting missiles, had been positioned off the Korean peninsula.