The Pentagon is deploying a ballistic missile defense system to Guam in coming weeks to strengthen its posture in the Pacific against a North Korean missile threat.
"This deployment will strengthen defense capabilities for American citizens in the U.S. territory of Guam and U.S. forces stationed there," Pentagon spokeswoman Army Lt. Col. Cathy Wilkinson said in a statement.
The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) is a land-based, missile defense system consisting of a truck-mounted launcher, interceptor missiles, an AN/TPY-2 tracking radar and an integrated fire control system, according to the statement.
The move is "precautionary," Lt. Col. Wilkinson said. "The United States continues to urge the North Korean leadership to cease provocative threats and choose the path of peace by complying with its international obligations. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend U.S. territory, our allies, and our national interests."
North Korea has threatened war on South Korea and missile attacks on U.S. targets in response to new U.N. sanctions on the regime for its illegal nuclear test in February and launch of three-stage rocket in December.
The North also has expressed outrage over ongoing U.S.-South Korean military exercises.
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