US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced over the weekend that they were deploying two more ballistic missile destroyers to Japan to calm its ally’s fears about a possible attack from North Korea. The continued missile tests conducted by Pyongyang has worried Tokyo, especially since they are the US’ strongest partner in the region.
Hagel met with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera in Tokyo and one of their major talking points was the threat brought about by the nuclear and missile tests from Pyongyang, which is part of their “pattern of provocative and destabilizing actions”, despite the fact that it violates UN resolutions. The additional two ships brings to seven the number of ballistic missile warships in Japan and will serve as defensive and offensive weapons. The ships have the capability of tracking missile launches and can also take out any short to medium-range missiles that will be fired at Japan or the US. North Korea’s deputy UN ambassador Ri Tong Il said that they “made it very clear we will carry out a new form of nuclear test” but did not reveal any more details. They are accusing the US of trying to force about a regime change in the reclusive state, and look at any move towards that as a “red line” that will give them no choice but to react with countermeasures.
Meanwhile, Hagel also warned China that they should show more respect to its neighbours, with regards to the ongoing territorial dispute with Japan and with other Southeast Asian countries. While saying that China is indeed a “great power,” this means that they carry more responsibility in wielding that power, particularly their growing military might. Hagel emphasized that “coercion, intimidation is a very deadly thing that leads only to conflict. All nations, all people deserve respect no matter how large or how small.” He will be visiting China later this week, as part of a 10-day Asia-Pacific trip wherein he discussed improving defense and humanitarian partnerships with different countries in the region.
[ via Time ]
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