Posted March. 06, 2010 09:24,
A leading U.S. defense official yesterday said Washington will invest in establishing a regional missile defense against North Korean nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Michael Schiffer made the statement in his op-ed piece Quadrennial Defense Report and the Korean Peninsula sent to The Dong-A Ilbo.
He said the threat of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles aimed at South Korea and the U.S. exists and is growing.
Schiffer is seen indirectly inviting Seoul, which has declined to join the U.S. missile defense system, to participate in a new regional system.
On the regional missile system, he said the measure will allow a more flexible and convenient deployment and is tailored to the unique needs of Asia.
Unlike the strategic missile defense designed to cope with intercontinental ballistic missiles, the regional system is geared to cope with short-range and mid-range ballistic missiles, he said.
A South Korean government official said, At the 2+2 meeting of director-generals, or Pol-Mil council between Korea and the U.S., held in Washington in December last year, Washington explained its plan to invest in the regional missile defense.
The U.S. said it had a plan for a tailored and phased approach, but stopped short of submitting details.