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Secretary Hagel announces deployment of more anti-ballistic missile ships to Japan in response to North Korean provocations

The U.S. will deploy two additional Aegis-equipped ballistic missile defense ships to Japan, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced Sunday. He explained that the decision to bolster missile defense in the region was "In response to Pyongyang's pattern of provocative and destabilizing actions."

By JC Finley
Secretary Hagel announces deployment of more anti-ballistic missile ships to Japan in response to North Korean provocations
A Standard Missile Three (SM-3) is launched from the guided missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) during a joint Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Navy ballistic missile flight test. Two minutes later, the SM-3 intercepted a separating ballistic missile threat target, launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. The test, conducted on June 22, 2006, was the seventh intercept, in eight program flight tests, by the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense. The maritime capability is designed to intercept short to medium-range ballistic missile threats in the mid-course phase of flight. (U.S. Navy)

TOKYO, April 7 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced Sunday that he plans to deploy two additional Aegis-equipped ballistic missile defense ships to Japan by 2017 in response to North Korean provocations.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Japan alongside Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, Hagel said the decision is in line with a plan announced in October 2013 to establish a second missile defense site in Kyoto Prefecture.

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"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.”

The Aegis ballistic missile ships are designed to intercept ballistic missiles post-boost phase and before reentry.

On Monday, Hagel traveled to China, where he said he planned to discuss "Asia-Pacific issues, the East China Sea, the South China Sea, [China’s] neighbors [and] the continued dangerous and provocative actions of the North Koreans."

Hagel's announcement coincided with a U.S.-Japan-South Korea trilateral summit held on Monday in Washington focused on the denuclearization of North Korea.

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[Pentagon]

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