Pentagon to announce missile defense moves; defying Pyongyang, sending Ash Carter to South Korea

Ash Carter, deputy secretary of defense, is leaving Sunday on a four-country tour of Asia that includes a stop in South Korea — for the first time since Pyongyang renewed its saber-rattling rhetoric, including a threat of nuclear war. Carter is stopping to see allies and U.S. troops in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines ...

DOD photo
DOD photo
DOD photo

Ash Carter, deputy secretary of defense, is leaving Sunday on a four-country tour of Asia that includes a stop in South Korea -- for the first time since Pyongyang renewed its saber-rattling rhetoric, including a threat of nuclear war.

Carter is stopping to see allies and U.S. troops in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines on the way to a global defense conference in Indonesia.

After weeks of a showing a calm face to North Korea’s threat of nuclear attack, the Pentagon reportedly “is set to deploy” 14 additional ground-based interceptor missiles in Alaska and California.http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/14/pentagon-to-beef-up-missile-defense-in-response-to-north-korean-threat-sources/

Ash Carter, deputy secretary of defense, is leaving Sunday on a four-country tour of Asia that includes a stop in South Korea — for the first time since Pyongyang renewed its saber-rattling rhetoric, including a threat of nuclear war.

Carter is stopping to see allies and U.S. troops in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines on the way to a global defense conference in Indonesia.

After weeks of a showing a calm face to North Korea’s threat of nuclear attack, the Pentagon reportedly “is set to deploy” 14 additional ground-based interceptor missiles in Alaska and California.http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/14/pentagon-to-beef-up-missile-defense-in-response-to-north-korean-threat-sources/

"Our concern about Pyongyang’s potential ICBM capability is compounded by the regime’s focus on developing nuclear weapons. North Korea’s third nuclear test last month is obviously a serious concern for all nations," said Under Secretary of State Jim Miller in a speech this week. "North Korea’s shrill public pronouncements underscore the need for the U.S. to continue to take prudent steps to defeat any future North Korean ICBM."

“By finishing Missile Field Number Two at Ft. Greely, Alaska, and being prepared to complete Missile Field Number One at Ft. Greely, we have the ability to swiftly deploy up to 14 additional Ground-Based Interceptors if needed,” he revealed, at the Atlantic Council.

On Friday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was scheduled to make announcement on missile defense at 3pm in the Pentagon.

Not showing signs of backing down, North Korea reportedly launched a short-range missile into the sea on Friday. It is unclear whether North Korea’s long-range missile, the Taepodong-2, is capable of reaching the United States.

As  Hagel settles into his new job, Carter is representing the U.S. at the 2013 Jakarta International Defense Dialogue next week, which expects participants from countries across Southeast Asia and beyond. Not on the official list: China.

“Deputy Secretary Carter’s first stop will be Japan,” a defense official told the E-Ring.  “Following Japan, Deputy Secretary Carter will travel to South Korea, the Philippines, and Indonesia.”

Pentagon press secretary George Little said, in a statement, “The trip will provide Deputy Secretary Carter an opportunity to continue U.S. defense consultations on a range of common security challenges.”

Kevin Baron is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy, covering defense and military issues in Washington. He is also vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. Baron previously was a national security staff writer for National Journal, covering the "business of war." Prior to that, Baron worked in the resident daily Pentagon press corps as a reporter/photographer for Stars and Stripes. For three years with Stripes, Baron covered the building and traveled overseas extensively with the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, covering official visits to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East and Europe, China, Japan and South Korea, in more than a dozen countries. From 2004 to 2009, Baron was the Boston Globe Washington bureau's investigative projects reporter, covering defense, international affairs, lobbying and other issues. Before that, he muckraked at the Center for Public Integrity. Baron has reported on assignment from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the South Pacific. He was won two Polk Awards, among other honors. He has a B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond and M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University. Originally from Orlando, Fla., Baron has lived in the Washington area since 1998 and currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, three sons, and the family dog, The Edge. Twitter: @FPBaron

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