From Barbara Starr
The U.S. military is sending a land-based missile defense system to Guam to defend against possible North Korean ballistic missile launches, according to a news release from the Department of Defense.
The statement said the missiles, a truck-mounted launcher, and radar and target acquisition systems will be deployed in the "coming weeks."
The system, called the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, fires missiles at enemy targets in the "terminal phase" as they approach defended territory.
"They have missile delivery capacity now," Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Wednesday in a speech at the National Defense University.
"They have ratcheted up (their) 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,"
Guam is about 2,000 miles from North Korea. Most observers say North Korea is still years away from having the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead on a missile, but it does have plenty of conventional military firepower, including medium-range ballistic missiles that can carry high explosives for hundreds of miles.