Defense Secretary Wants New Missile Interceptors in State Due to N. Korea Threat
ANCHORAGE - It’s a threat the U.S. is taking seriously. Today the Secretary of Defense said the country must defend itself against a possible nuclear attack from North Korea, adding that Alaska must take a major role.
In the past few months, North Korea has gotten the world’s attention, conducting a series of nuclear tests and now threatening a nuclear attack against the U.S, and South Korea. It’s prompting the Pentagon to take action.
“The reason we are advancing our homeland security is to not take any chances, to stay ahead of the threat,” said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Hagel wants to install 14 new missile interceptors at Fort Greely in Alaska by 2017, as well as add additional interceptors to a base in California and beef up an early warning radar system in Japan.
But whether North Korea has the technology to do what it claims is a subject of debate.
“We know they are going forward, they aren’t standing still with the status quo and we can’t either.”
That comment is from Bob Doehl. Now a military advisor to Senator Mark Begich, Doehl was also a colonel in the Alaska Air National Guard for many years. He knows the situation in North Korea very well.
“I don’t believe they could reach Alaska or the continental United States,” said Doehl. “But I believe it’s at a point where it’s evolving and we don’t want to be at the point where we don’t know that until it’s too late.”
That view is shared by many military leaders including Secretary Hagel and President Obama.
The new system would take several years to install but leaders say once in, it should provide a good level of defense against the escalating threats.