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Published: Thursday, 6/18/2009

Gates: Missile defense in place for Hawaii in case North Korea fires missile

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he's positioning defenses near Hawaii just in case North Korea fires a missile across the Pacific toward the island state.

Gates says he's sent the military's ground-based mobile missile system to Hawaii, and positioned a radar system nearby. Together the systems theoretically could detect and shoot down a North Korean missile if it came to that.

Gates says the U.S. is watching the North's moves very closely. He says there is concern about a potential launch toward Hawaii, although he did not spell out how extensive the U.S. thinks the threat might be.

A Japanese newspaper reported Thursday that North Korea might fire its most advanced ballistic missile toward Hawaii around the Fourth of July holiday.


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