In response to reports today that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stated his rocket forces were ready "to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists in view of the prevailing situation," U.S. Senator Mark Begich released the following statement:
"The latest dangerous threats from North Korea further illustrate the importance of Alaska's missile defense system," said Sen. Begich. "If these words turn out to be more than just chest-thumping, Alaska's 49th Missile Battalion at Fort Greely stand ready with the resources they need defend us."
Earlier this month Department of Defense (DOD) Sec. Chuck Hagel announced his decision to invest in Alaska's strategic geographic location and deploy more ground-based missile (GMD) interceptors in response to North Korea's recent provocations. The announcement came shortly after Begich requested additional resources to support missile defense in Alaska in this year's budget:
In addition, Begich has met twice this year with the Missile Defense Agency Director, Admiral James Syring, to emphasize his serious concerns about the threat North Korea poses and propose increased resources at Fort Greely to defend against those threats. In 2009 Begich fought the Obama Administration on their decision to deploy fewer interceptors than previously planned.