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by
Bridget Johnson

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April 3, 2013 - 12:06 pm

The Defense Department will be deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) ballistic missile defense system to Guam in the coming weeks “as a precautionary move to strengthen our regional defense posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat,” the Pentagon announced today.

THAAD is a land-based missile defense system that includes a truck-mounted launcher, a complement of interceptor missiles, an AN/TPY-2 tracking radar, and an integrated fire control system.

“This deployment will strengthen defense capabilities for American citizens in the U.S. Territory of Guam and U.S. forces stationed there,” the Pentagon said.

“The United States continues to urge the North Korean leadership to cease provocative threats and choose the path of peace by complying with its international obligations. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend U.S. territory, our allies, and our national interests.”

The announcement came shortly after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s first major policy speech at the National Defense University at Fort McNair.

Hagel did not mention North Korea in the speech, just “an array of other security challenges of varying vintage and degrees of risk to the United States.”

During the question-and-answer portion after the speech, Hagel was asked by a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) employee about the crisis.

“They have nuclear capacity now. They have missile delivery capacity now,” Hagel responded. “And so as they have ratcheted up her bellicose, dangerous rhetoric — and some of the actions they’ve taken over the last few weeks present a real and clear danger and threat to the interests, certainly of our allies, starting with South Korea and Japan; and also the threats that the North Koreans have leveled directly at the United States regarding our base in Guam, threatened Hawaii, threatened to the West Coast of the United States. As secretary of defense, and I think beginning with the president of the United States, and all of our leaders, we — we take those threats seriously. We have to take those threats seriously.”

“I think we have measured, responsible, serious responses to those threats,” he added.

More: BREAKING: N. Korea Approves Nuclear Attack on US

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Not to worry. Our crack foreign policy and defense team are on it!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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The NoKo's are a side show. China is the enemy.

The saber rattling of that malnourished horde is not the issue. Sure, they can make the US waste millions in deploying our very limited ABM and stealth assets, but the danger is from a modernizing and well funded Red Chinese military.

China's military uses state of the art equipment .... as good as ours, since they stole the technology. (Thank Bill Clinton for that).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One thing to point out:

The Defense Department will be deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) ballistic missile defense system to Guam in the coming weeks “as a precautionary move to strengthen our regional defense posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat,” the Pentagon announced today.

"In a few weeks" probably will be too late to have any effect.

Subotai Bahadur
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Since our southern border is so secure, North Korea would never dream of sending a nuke into the us by backpack or burro.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Now would be a good time for the Republicans to ONLY refer to our missile defense systems as the “Ronald-Reagan-Missile-Defense-Systems-Built-In-Spite-Of-The-Attempts-By-Russians-And-The-Democratic-Party-To-Cancel-It”.

On Every Damn news outlet and twice on the Sunday Shows.

Too bad they’re the “Stupid Party.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hey, I'm glad that the defense system is being sent to Guam to protect our guys. But does any one believe the NKs could actually hit it? Yeah, I know: better safe than sorry.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
i believe they could put a bomb in the hold of a ship and detonate it close enough to guam that we would wish we had been less flippant about it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not to worry. Our crack foreign policy and defense team are on it!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah! Team Obama! And Hagel at the spear tip.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What difference does it make ?

. . .. . . .. . h/t Hillary Rodham, Sec of State (emeritus)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
N. Korea has revoked the armistice and declared that it will make a nuke attack on the US. it has essentially declared war and we sit in a defensive posture claiming we need to "...have measured, responsible, serious responses to those threats..."

what we need is to turn N Korea into a radioactive parking lot and if anyone objects make them glow in the dark, too. where is it written that we must wait until injured before taking action? we should take the threat as intent.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
North Korea has announced on numerous occaisions, that it will no longer abide by the armistice -- 1994, 1996, 2003, 2006, 2009, and now 2013.

The NKs know two things very well! 1) we will NOT come to fight a 'conventional' war with their 1M man army and other military assets and 2) we CAN nuke them off the map if necessary. They've known that for decades without any denial! Now, consider the latter. You going to nuke them on a day when the winds blow to China or the Winds blow to South Korea having most likey already been nuked by NK and across the big bay to Japan? Or are you going to nuke them when the winds are blowing to Vietnam, Thailand? Where you going to send the nuke cloud? Then consider that they're not really as stupis as some might think! IF they feared a land war, they would simply wait until mid winter and then what.....you obviously weren't around over their during the Korean war! Then what are you doing to do with China?

How many innocent lives and military lives are you will to sacrifice for your strategy?

Nothing is as simplistic as most who think in superficial terms think it is!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes. That would be the "unproven" missile defense system that (fortunately) was "inherited from the previous administration."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually the defense system at first had some hiccups but has improved, keep in mind that it has been worked on for over 25 years and yes there is room for improvement but it is still better than nothing at all, which was the stance of Demoncrats but not now that they have their own Demon ruining things for us!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How exactly would this defense system work, say against, a hundred nuclear artillery rounds being fired low trajectory in day light into Seoul, then sacrificed to a defensive counter and nothing more was fired nor any other actions were forthcoming from the NK side? Now what?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Shouldn't we also target Dear Leader's very bad haircut?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama's public reaction to N. Korea's provocation is not going to help defuse the situation. Obama has to know that, so why would he respond, and do so publicly in this manner?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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