A senior House defense lawmaker has given his backing to the indefinite fielding of an antimissile system in Guam, the Pacific Daily News reports.
Last April, the U.S. military deployed a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system to Guam, which houses a major U.S. navy base, amid concerns that North Korea could be serious about its threats to carry out nuclear-missile attacks on the United States. THAAD batteries are designed to destroy short- and medium-range ballistic missiles in their last stage of flight. At the time of its deployment, the Defense Department said the system would be fielded for just three months but has yet to remove it.
“We wanna make sure that, strategically, we have all the right assets here on Guam to protect Guam from whatever ballistic missile threats that are out there,” U.S. Representative Robert Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee said on Tuesday during a visit to the U.S. territory.
Guam’s non-voting delegate in the U.S. House, Representative Madeleine Bordallo (D) is pushing to have the THAAD system permanently fielded on the island.
Guam could be within range of North Korea’s intermediate-range Musudan missile as well as any intercontinental ballistic missiles that the isolated country may be working on.