Pyongyang Threats Prompt US to Boost Missile Defense

Obama had halted program's expansion

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 15, 2013 4:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – North Korea's missile warnings have the US building up its defenses, insiders tell Fox News. The Pentagon is preparing 14 new ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California. The result—44 total interceptors—is in line with Bush administration plans. President Obama had halted deployment at 30 when he entered office. "North Korea’s shrill public pronouncements underscore the need for the US to continue to take prudent steps," says a Pentagon rep.

Conservatives are likely to slam the administration for halting, then re-starting, the program because the shift is expensive, according to Fox. A missile field in Alaska, for example, will cost $205 million to prepare—more than it originally would have cost. But "anyone who suggests we should have stayed the course" with the defense system before new threats is simply doing "Monday morning quarterbacking," an administration official says.

A rocket launcher is fired during a live drill by the Jangjae Islet Defense Detachment and the Mu Islet Hero Defense Detachment deployed in the southwestern sector of North Korea.
A rocket launcher is fired during a live drill by the Jangjae Islet Defense Detachment and the Mu Islet Hero Defense Detachment deployed in the southwestern sector of North Korea.   (AP Photo/KCNA via KNS)
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