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US sending ballistic missile defence system to Guam

Washington, Apr 4, 2013, (PTI) :
 This March 18, 2009 handout image courtesy of the US Missile Defense Agency shows the launch of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile during a test. The United States is to deploy a THAAD missile defense battery to defend its bases on the Pacific island of Guam, the Pentagon said on April 3, 2013 following threats from North Korea. The news that the ground-based system would be in place in the coming weeks came after two Aegis anti-missile destroyers were sent to the western Pacific to intercept any North Korean strike against US or allied targets. The THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) is a truck-mounted system that can pinpoint an enemy missile launch, track the projectile and launch an interceptor to bring it down. AFP Photo

In the wake of continued heated rhetoric from North Korea, the United States is deploying a ballistic missile defence system in Guam.

The announcement from Pentagon came on a day the North Korean army said that it has been given approval to launch nuclear strike on US threats.

"The Department of Defence will deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) Ballistic Missile Defence system to Guam in the coming weeks as a precautionary move to strengthen our regional defence posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat," the Pentagon announced yesterday.

THAAD system is a land-based missile defence 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 defence capabilities for American citizens in the US Territory of Guam and US forces stationed there," the Pentagon statement said.
The US continues to urge the North Korean leadership to cease provocative threats and choose the path of peace by complying with its international obligations, it said.

"The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend US territory, our allies, and our national interests," the Pentagon said.

Meanwhile, the White House asked Pyongyang to stop its provocative threats, as the North Korean Army said it has been cleared to wage an attack using smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear weapons.

"We've seen today's statement by North Korea, again making unhelpful and unconstructive threats," Caitlin Hayden, Spokesperson of the National Security
Council, said.

Hayden's remarks came after the North Korean army issued a statement, saying "the ever-escalating US hostile policy toward the DPRK and its reckless nuclear threat will be smashed by the strong will of all the united service personnel and people and cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means of the DPRK and that the merciless operation of its revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified."

Commenting on the statement the White House official said, "it is yet another offering in a long line of provocative statements that only serve to further isolate North Korea from the rest of the international community and undermine its goal of economic development."

"North Korea should stop its provocative threats and instead concentrate on abiding by its international obligations," Hayden said.


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