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North Korea Nuke Threat Draws US Missile Defense Response

The United States will add more ground-based ballistic missile interceptors to its arsenal to guard against increased threats from North Korea and Iran according to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

North Korean and Iranian missile capabilities have increased and the United States must stay ahead of that threat, Hagel said. Both have developed longer range ballistic missiles, and North Korea has now conducted three nuclear tests, followed by stepped up threats against the United States and South Korea.

The Pentagon will deploy 14 more ground-based interceptors in locations at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif, Hagel said, boosting the total number from 30 to 44. The added interceptors will provide a nearly 50 percent increase in U.S. missile defense capability, Hagel said.

"The United States has missile defense systems in place to protect us from limited ICBM attacks, but North Korea in particular has recently made advances in its capabilities and is engaged in a series of irresponsible and reckless provocations," Hagel said.

Video from the Department of Defense

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