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
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
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
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
Monday, December 9 2013 10:50 PM EST2013-12-10 03:50:54 GMT
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The Connecticut state's attorney released a report Monday on the investigation of the massacre in December at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, which killed 20 children and six women >>
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Tuesday, December 10 2013 9:08 AM EST2013-12-10 14:08:02 GMT
SPOKANE, Wash. - For anyone whose parents have moved into their home or for those looking to possibly rent out part of their home, houses with in-law type set ups are ideal. >>
SPOKANE, Wash. - For anyone whose parents have moved into their home or for those looking to possibly rent out part of their home, houses with in-law type set ups are ideal. It's a great way to give yourself and the person living in your home separate space and it helps to keep the sanity. >>