Trump missile defense review calls North Korea ‘extraordinary threat’

Trump missile defense review calls North Korea ‘extraordinary threat’ .

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump unveiled a revamped U.S. missile defense strategy on Thursday

that called North Korea an ongoing and “extraordinary threat,” seven months after he declared the threat posed by

Pyongyang had been eliminated. The plan, which also detailed concerns about the burgeoning capabilities of Iran,

Russia and China, called for developing space-based sensors to detect incoming enemy missiles and exploring space-

based weapons to shoot down missiles among other steps to shield the United States.

The open acknowledgment in the Missile Defense Review of U.S. plans to counter Russian and Chinese technological advances likely will alarm those nations. It marked a departure from the approach taken by Republican Trump’s Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, to tamp down concerns by major nuclear powers about expanding U.S. missile defenses.

“Our goal is simple: To ensure we can detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States – anywhere, anytime, anyplace,” Trump said at the Pentagon.

Trump did not mention the North Korean missile threat in his remarks. But acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan called North Korea’s missiles a “significant concern.”

“While a possible new avenue to peace now exists with North Korea, it continues to pose an extraordinary threat and

the United States must remain vigilant,” the report said.

For Trump, who is trying to revive efforts to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear arsenal, the report’s

release came at an awkward moment. Senior North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol was headed for Washington on

Thursday for expected talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday and a possible encounter with Trump, a

person familiar with the matter said.

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