Pentagon-N Korea

By Lee Chi-dong

WASHINGTON/ SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- The Pentagon announced plans Wednesday to send an advanced ballistic missile defense system to the western Pacific in a measure to bolster its regional defense posture against North Korea's missile threats.

"The Department of Defense will deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) Ballistic Missile Defense system to Guam in the coming weeks as a precautionary move to strengthen our regional defense posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat," the department said.

The THAAD system is a land-based missile defense system that includes a truck-mounted launcher, a complement of interceptor missiles, an advanced tracking radar, and an integrated fire control system.

"This deployment will strengthen defense capabilities for American citizens in the U.S. Territory of Guam and U.S. forces stationed there," the Pentagon said.

The announcement came after Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel described Pyongyang's threats as a "real and clear" danger.

"We take those threats seriously," Hagel said in a speech at the National Defense University in Washington. "We are doing everything we can, working with the Chinese, others, to defuse that situation on the peninsula."

In Korea, the North's military issued a fresh threat, saying it would take a series of military actions against the United States.

In a statement, the General Staff of the Korean People's Army said it would "take a series of strong, actual military countermeasures as the Supreme Command solemnly declared at home and abroad."

It said it was formally informing the White House and the Pentagon of the plans.

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