US Navy Deploys Ships Before North Korean Launch - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

US Navy Deploys Ships Before North Korean Launch

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Parde/AFP/File, Eric S. Garst) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Parde/AFP/File, Eric S. Garst)

WASHINGTON (AP) The United States has deployed naval ships equipped with ballistic missile defenses and is monitoring North Korea "very closely" ahead of an anticipated rocket launch, the head of US Pacific Command said Thursday.

It was "logical" for US naval ships in the region to track North Korea's launch and "to the degree that those ships are capable of participating in ballistic missile defense, then we'll position them to be able to do that," Admiral Samuel Locklear told reporters.

The US Navy took a similar approach during the last North Korean launch, he added at a Pentagon news conference.

Two guided missile destroyers, the USS Benfold and the USS Fitzgerald, have been sent to the area ahead of the launch, a Navy official told AFP.

The two ships were moving in to "monitor any potential missile launch by North Korea and to reassure regional allies should a launch occur," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Both destroyers are equipped with the sophisticated Aegis ballistic missile defense system.

Locklear said naval ships had been sent to the region "so we understand if they do violate the UN Security Council (resolution) and launch a missile, what kind is it? What is it about? Where does it go? Who's threatened?"

The admiral, who commands US forces in the Asia-Pacific region, added that US forces would also be tracking any stray parts that might fall from the rocket.

Pyongyang has announced it will conduct between December 10 and 22 its second long-range rocket launch this year, after a much-hyped but failed attempt in April.

The North says it will be a purely "peaceful, scientific" mission aimed at placing an Earth observation satellite into orbit.

The United States and its allies insist the launches are disguised tests for an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Locklear said North Korea has steadily improved its missile technology but it was unclear whether this month's test would be successful.

"I think they have progressively gained better technology over time through a number of methods, a number of years and decades," he added.

"To the degree that they would be more successful than they were last time in such a short period of time and what they've done to correct it, I can't tell you."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Man accused of killing Cheney pot shop employee confesses in interview

    Man accused of killing Cheney pot shop employee confesses in interview

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 10:20 AM EDT2017-09-19 14:20:42 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The man who admitted to kidnapping and then killing a stranger outside a Cheney marijuana shop gave a full confession to KHQ's Hayley Guenthner as he sat behind bars. Donavon Culps said he shot victim Cameron Smith "three or four times" after he felt Smith was "disrespectful" to him.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The man who admitted to kidnapping and then killing a stranger outside a Cheney marijuana shop gave a full confession to KHQ's Hayley Guenthner as he sat behind bars. Donavon Culps said he shot victim Cameron Smith "three or four times" after he felt Smith was "disrespectful" to him.

    >>
  • Washington State Patrol respond to fatal crash on I-90 near Freya

    Washington State Patrol respond to fatal crash on I-90 near Freya

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 2:42 AM EDT2017-09-19 06:42:39 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Washington State Patrol troopers say speed may have been a factor in the fatal crash on I-90 Monday night. Troopers say reader boards were activated telling drivers to slow down due to power line work happening on I-90. Troopers say the victim slammed into the back of a semi.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Washington State Patrol troopers say speed may have been a factor in the fatal crash on I-90 Monday night. Troopers say reader boards were activated telling drivers to slow down due to power line work happening on I-90. Troopers say the victim slammed into the back of a semi.

    >>
  • NEW COURT DOCUMENTS: Chilling discoveries in aftermath of Freeman School Shooting

    NEW COURT DOCUMENTS: Chilling discoveries in aftermath of Freeman School Shooting

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 2:10 AM EDT2017-09-19 06:10:33 GMT

    KHQ.COM - A newly filed search warrant, specifically for the Freeman School Shooting suspect's high school locker and home, is revealing more information about what led up to those tragic events of Wednesday, September 13th, and what immediately followed. The Search Warrant begins with a description of the events immediately after the shooting.

    >>

    KHQ.COM - A newly filed search warrant, specifically for the Freeman School Shooting suspect's high school locker and home, is revealing more information about what led up to those tragic events of Wednesday, September 13th, and what immediately followed. The Search Warrant begins with a description of the events immediately after the shooting.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/