WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has moved its ground-based interceptor missile defense system from test mode to operational amid concerns over an expected North Korean missile launch, a U.S. defense official said on Tuesday.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed a Washington Times report that the Pentagon has activated the system, which has been in the developmental stage for years.
“It’s good to be ready,” the official said.
U.S. officials say evidence such as satellite pictures suggests Pyongyang may have finished fueling a Taepodong-2 missile, which some experts said could reach as far as Alaska.
“There’s real caution in how to characterize it so as to not be provocative in our own approach,” the defense official said of the move to activate the system.
The Pentagon and State Department have said a North Korean missile launch would be seen as “provocative.”
Yeah, I’ll say.