The ground-based missile-defense interceptors, the ground-based radar and the Aegis cruisers around Japan “have been in place for a period of time,” he said.
“I’m comfortable we have all we need,” he said.
Gen. Renuart said he had requested using the X-band radar, which is built on a floating oil-rig platform, for use in an April test-firing of a long-range rocket by North Korea.
Defense officials said the general’s request at that time was turned down by the Pentagon, prompting some critics to say that not deploying the radar — which was undergoing maintenance at the time in Hawaii — was a missed opportunity to collect test data on the missile.
“We had requested the X-band radar [earlier this year] before we really knew what was going on at the launch site,” Gen. Renuart said.
A risk assessment was done on whether to halt the upgrading of the radar and send it to sea.
“Once it became clear that this was not an ICBM launch, but rather a space-launch test, and understanding that we don’t intercept space launches, there really wasn’t the need to interrupt the modification and improvements,” Gen. Renuart said.
Regarding the current North Korean preparations, Gen. Renuart said current indications are “this seems to be that if something occurs, it will be ICBM-focused.”
The X-band radar will provide technical information on the North Korean missile, he said without elaborating.
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
By James A. Lyons
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