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Pentagon says interceptor deployment is "just in case" type rollout

In recent months an increasingly bellicose North Korea has defiantly tested intercontinental ballistic missilesblew up trial nuclear warheadsscrapped a sixty-year-old armistice with the U.S. and its southern neighbor, and -- most recently -- restarted a mothballed nuclear reactor used in production of material for nuclear weapons.

As the threats from North Korea increase, the U.S. has deployed a truck-based, radar-driven interceptor missile system to Guam.  According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the system will protect the island territory of the U.S. if North Korea attempts to attack it with a ballistic missile, as threatened.  The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAADS) fires on a target rocket when it's in its terminal descent phase, plunging towards the defended territory.

The THAADS system is produced by top defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT).

The U.S. has deployed the THAADS interceptor trucks to Guam. 
[Image Source: Lockheed Martin]

While U.S. defense experts doubt North Korea would be able to hit the U.S. mainland with a nuclear missile, Guam -- 2,000 away from the hostile Asian dictatorship -- might be a slightly more feasible target.  Both South Korea and Japan have extensive interceptor systems, which are likely on high alert.

U.S. ally Israel provided the most impressive real-world demonstration of a missile-interception system to date.  Its "Iron Dome" system shot down approximately 9 out of 10 missiles that were headed towards a populated region.  Past interceptor systems used in the Persian Gulf conflicts by the U.S. had lower success rates.

Ballistic missile interception is a more unproven art.  Ballistic missiles are bigger (and hence a bigger target), but are also generally faster than the kind of small rockets Iron Dome or Patriot-missile (U.S.) interceptor systems target. Israel has an interceptor system of its own dubbed Arrow, which the U.S. co-founded and shares technology from.  Fortunately, that system has never been called upon in a real war scenario.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense

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By DrApop on 4/3/2013 10:19:32 PM , Rating: -1
are we even other there?

I really don't care what N. Korea does. It is on the other side of the world.

RE: Why...
By StormyKnight on 4/4/2013 4:30:22 AM , Rating: 3
Apparantly you know nothing of our allies in South Korea. We are there to help protect them. Also, you know nothing of the global economy. What affects a large economy that we have trade relationships with, affects us and other allies. If North Korea attacked South Korea and caused severe enough damage to their infrastructure, population and economy, it can affect our economy as well as other economies around the world.

Just like during the years of the cold war when we had thousands and thousands of troops deployed in Europe to keep the Soviets and their allies in check, our troops are in S. Korea to do the very same thing. They are a deterrent.

RE: Why...
By Solandri on 4/4/2013 4:53:49 AM , Rating: 5
You should care.

The Korean War was 60 years ago. Anyone old enough to have fought in it is in their 80s. Anyone old enough to have been involved with the command decisions is 90+ or dead. There are probably only a few dozen of these people left in the entire NK leadership, and they have no plans to tell the rest of their population the truth before they die.

So you have 25 million people, almost all of whom believe the propaganda they've been taught for 60 years, most of them since birth - that the U.S. and South Korea started the Korean War. In that context, everything the U.S. does to try to shore up the defenses of South Korea, Japan, Guam, etc. is just a prelude to "another" invasion.

And they have nukes.

RE: Why...
By Dr of crap on 4/4/2013 12:43:25 PM , Rating: 5
YOU CAN'T be that stupid!??!

RE: Why...
By cyberguyz on 4/8/2013 5:58:36 AM , Rating: 1
You really aren't the sharpest tool in the shed are you.

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