Entries in Missile Defense (3)


US, Japan Settle on Second Missile Defense Deal

Department of Defense Photo by Glenn Fawcett(TOKYO) -- U.S. and Japanese officials have agreed to put a second advanced missile defense system in Japan aimed at protecting the country from the threat of a missile attack from North Korea, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says.

Panetta was speaking in Tokyo during his third trip to Asia in eleven months, reflecting the Pentagon's ongoing shift to put more military focus on the Pacific region.

"The United States and Japan have begun coordination on the future deployment of additional TPY-2 surveillance radar to Japan. The purpose of this is to enhance our ability to defend Japan," Panetta said.

The exact location of the radar installation has not yet been determined.

Panetta stressed that the system would be aimed at protecting the region against the threat from North Korea, and not directed at China.

"We have made these concerns very clear to the Chinese that North Korea and the use of these ballistic missiles is a threat to our security. We've made that very clear, and we've also made clear that we will take steps to protect the United States and to protect our allies from that threat. And I will continue to make that point to the Chinese when I have the opportunity to meet with them," he said.

The long-range rockets North Korea is developing have been test-fired over Japan and could 'potentially' reach the U.S. But they've been highly inaccurate and unreliable.

The North conducted its latest long-range launch in April, defying a U.N. ban. It was a failure; the rocket disintegrated shortly after take-off.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Asks Russian President for ‘Space’ on Missile Defense

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- At the tail end of his 90-minute meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday, President Obama said that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to give him “space.”

The exchange was picked up by microphones as reporters were let into the room for remarks by the two leaders.

The conversation went as follows:

Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

Medvedev: Yeah, I understand.  I understand your message about space.  Space for you…

Obama: This is my last election.  After my election I have more flexibility.

Medvedev: I understand.  I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

When asked to explain what Obama meant, Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, told ABC News that there is room for the U.S. and Russia to reach an accommodation, but “there is a lot of rhetoric around this issue -- there always is -- in both countries.”

A senior administration official told ABC News, "This is a political year in which the Russians just had an election, we're about to have a presidential and congressional elections -- this is not the kind of year in which we're going to resolve incredibly complicated issue like this.  So there's an advantage to pulling back and letting the technical experts work on this as the president has been saying."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


White House Contradicts Russian Duma Official on Linkage Between Missile Defense and START

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- An official of the lower house of the Duma says that as it ratifies the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, the Russian parliament will reaffirm that the treaty limits U.S. plans for missile defense, contrary to the stated position of U.S. officials.

Asked for comment, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor tells ABC News, "The President sent a letter to the Senate on Dec. 18 that said: ‘The New Start Treaty places no limitations on the development or deployment of our missile defense programs.' That remains the case."

The preamble to the treaty recognizes "the existence of the interrelationship between strategic offensive arms and strategic defensive arms, that this interrelationship will become more important as strategic nuclear arms are reduced, and that current strategic defensive arms do not undermine the viability and effectiveness of the strategic offensive arms of the Parties..."

Throughout the START debate in the Senate, Republican lawmakers voiced concern that recognizing the "interrelationship" between offensive and defensive weapons could be seen as a way to limit U.S. plans for a missile defense system in Europe.

And apparently Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Duma Committee on International Affairs, agrees.

Earlier Monday, the Voice of Russia quoted Kosachev saying that "during the ratification of START in the U.S. Congress the American lawmakers noted that the link between strategic offensive armed forces and antimissile defense systems is not juridically binding for the parties. They referred to the fact that this link was fixed only in the preamble of the document. Such an approach can be regarded as the U.S.' attempt to find an option to build up its strategic potential and the Russian lawmakers cannot agree with this."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio