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Responding To North Korea, U.S. Sends Missile Defenses To Guam

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks at the National Defense University at Ft. McNair in Washington, DC. i i

hide captionU.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks at the National Defense University at Ft. McNair in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong/Getty Images
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks at the National Defense University at Ft. McNair in Washington, DC.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks at the National Defense University at Ft. McNair in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The United States said it was sending its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System to Guam in the coming weeks.

The move to deploy the missile defense system comes in response to continued heated rhetoric from North Korea. The BBC reports:

"The Pentagon said in a statement the missile system would be moved to Guam as a 'precautionary move to strengthen our regional defence posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat.'

"'The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend U.S. territory, our allies, and our national interests,' the statement added."

In response to earlier threats from North Korea, the United States announced on March 15 that it would deploy 14 additional ground-based missile interceptors along the west coast of the United States.

During a speech earlier today, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said North Korea was "a real and clear danger and threat" to the United States.

NBC News adds:

"'I hope the North will ratchet this very dangerous rhetoric down,' he said, adding that there is a pathway to peace but only if Pyongyang decides to be 'a responsible member of the world community.'

"The U.S. has responded to the diplomatic crisis with more than words, dispatching two warships to the western Pacific to be on alert for missiles and conducting bomber and fighter flyovers."

As Mark reported earlier, today North Korea took another step to ratchet up the tension: they "barred South Korean workers from entering a jointly run factory park just over the heavily armed border in the North..."

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