Washington D.C. – A top Pentagon official says Guam, the CNMI and all U.S. territories in the Pacific are covered by the U.S. missile defense system.
Last week, prior to Thursday’s latest threats from Pyongyang against U.S. military bases on Guam and in Japan, DoD Undersecretary for Policy, James Miller was asked by a reporter at a missile defense briefing,
“What about Hawaii, and the American possessions in the western Pacific, the Marianas and Guam, will this cover those areas, also?'”
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Miller had this response:
MILLER: “The ground-based mid-course defense system provides coverage of not just the continental United States, but all of the United States.”
Then yesterday, North Korea threatened precision strikes against Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base, home to B-52s in joint exercises with South Korea and U.S. naval bases in Japan.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters after North Korea’s earlier threats against the continental U.S., that the U.S. will bolster its missile defenses to “stay ahead of the threat” from Pyongyang.
HAGEL: “We will strengthen homeland missile defense by deploying 14 additional ground-based interceptors. GBIS at Fort Greely, Alaska. That will increase the number of deployed ground-based interceptors from 30 to 44, including the four GBIS at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. These additional GBIS will provide a nearly 50% increase in our missile defense capability.”
Hagel says the Pentagon plans to have all 14 new interceptors in place by Fiscal 2017.
the u-s also has shipboard aegis defense systems that can be used to thwart a missile attack in the Pacific.
And Secretary Hagel says DoD, with Japan’s support, is planning to deploy and additional radar in Japan to provide improved early warning and tracking of any missile North Korea launches at the U.S. or Japan.