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General: U.S. missile defense can shoot down NKorean rocket ‘fairly quickly’

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Army Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard said today that U.S. missile defense systems could destroy a North Korean missile “fairly quickly,” if necessary, a comment that comes as North Korea reportedly plans at least to test launch a missile.

“We are very confident of that,” Pittard said after explaining that “layered air defenses could take out a missile launched by North Korea ‘fairly quickly,’” according to the Armed Forces Press Service.

Pittard was discussing with reporters how a missile interceptor unit deploying to Guam supplements other regional defenses.

“Aegis cruisers and other air defense systems will provide lower-level coverage,” AFPS explained, citing Pittard. “Patriot missiles and other systems will provide defenses at slightly higher altitudes.”

Pittard added that the missile interceptor operators headed to Guam from their base in Texas are “trained, they are ready, and they will do the mission.”

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