US Deploys High-Tech Radar in Response to North Korea's Missile Threat
The United States government has deployed a high-tech radar to keep watch of potential long-range missile launches by Kim Jong Un's North Korean government in the coming months. This is the first US government response to Pyongyang's declaration that it has the capabilities to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile.
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The sea-based X-band radar (SB-X) has the capabilities to track long-range missile launches and provide other crucial data. The radar, which will be stationed at the port of Hawaii, has been deployed for several times in the past to monitor North Korean missile activities.
According to a US defense official, the radar can only remain at sea for a certain undisclosed period of time, so military officials try to calculate the most significant times for deployment.
Generally, the SB-X radar is sent north of Hawaii and stationed about halfway to Alaska for the optimum location to track a potential North Korea missile launch headed for Alaska, Guam, or the West Coast of the United States.
The United States government is identifying additional surveillance assets to help monitor activity on the Korean Peninsula.
"If the missile is threatening, it will be intercepted. If it's not threatening, we won't necessarily do so," US Defense Secretary Ash Carter told journalists on Tuesday.
"It may be more to our advantage to, first of all, save our interceptor inventory, and, second, to gather intelligence from the flight rather than do that (shoot it down) when it's not threatening," Carter added.
The North Korean communist leader recently declared that Pyongyang is in the final stages of its plans to test launch an intercontinental ballistic missile.
On Wednesday, the US treasury froze all US property interests and assets belonging to seven North Korean government officials. In a statement, the treasury said the sanctions were imposed because of the communist country's continued abuse of human rights.