Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Friday the United States is increasing its nuclear missile defenses in Alaska and Japan due to recent threats of a nuclear strike from North Korea.
NBC reported the Obama administration is taking the threat seriously enough to spend $1 billion to deploy “14 new ground-based missile interceptors” to Alaska’s Fort Greely, increasing the U.S. missile defense capability by 50 percent by 2017.
Hagel also said the United States will “add a second U.S. anti-ballistic missile radar installation in Japan,” the report said.
“North Korea, in particular, has recently made advances in its capabilities and has engaged in a series of irresponsible and reckless provocations,” Hagel said at the Pentagon Friday.
Joining Hagel at the press conference on the deployment of additional missile interceptors, Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. had a warning for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un: “We believe that this young lad ought to be deterred by that, and if he’s not, we’ll be ready.”
However, some Republican lawmakers have said this new move is too little, too late.
However, the Wall Street Journal reported that in 2009, President Obama stopped the deployment of additional missile interceptors when he took office.
According to the Journal report:
“Four years ago, the Obama administration began to unilaterally disarm our defenses and deterrent in the hope our enemies would follow suit,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Ala.), chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. “President Obama is finally realizing what President Reagan taught us 30 years ago—the best way to keep the peace is through strength.”