The United States Navy is taking added precautions to assist and protect the Japanese in case of a North Korean attack. The Navy is sending two more missile defense ships to the region to act as a deterrent. In recent weeks, North Korea has launched missiles and has threatened that it is preparing another nuclear test. The ships will be deployed no later than 2017, according to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
The United States will send more missile defense ships to Japan, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Sunday, as part of an effort to bolster protection from North Korean missile threats.
North Korea has carried out a series of missile launches in recent weeks and has warned it was preparing to test another nuclear device, prompting fresh criticism from the United States.
Speaking during a visit to Tokyo, Hagel announced that two Navy destroyers equipped with missile defense systems would be deployed to Japan by 2017.
“A key focus for our talks today was the threat posed by North Korea,” Hagel told reporters after he met with Japan’s defense and foreign ministers.
“In response to Pyongyang’s pattern of provocative and destabilizing actions, including recent missile launches in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, I can announce today that the United States is planning to forward-deploy two additional AEGIS ballistic missile defense ships to Japan by 2017. This will bring our Japan-based fleet of BMD-capable ships to a total of seven.”
The announcement followed other steps taken by the Pentagon to bolster its military posture in Japan, including an October decision to establish a second missile defense radar site in Kyoto prefecture.
“These steps will greatly enhance our ability to defend both Japan and the U.S. homeland from North Korean ballistic missile threats,” Hagel said.