April 03, 2013 10:52
The U.S. Navy has moved a sea-based radar platform and a state-of-the-art guided missile destroyer to waters off the Korean Peninsula to track possible North Korean provocations.
The decision came amid increasingly belligerent rhetoric from the North and as part of a corresponding U.S. show of force.
The U.S. Navy moved the sea-based X-band radar platform from the Pacific closer to the North Korean coast, according to CNN. The SBX radar platform has the advanced capability to track ballistic missiles. It was the U.S. Navy's first response to the North's ever-ominous belligerent rhetoric.
When the North launched a rocket late last year, the U.S. Navy sent the SBX radar platform from Hawaii to waters near the Philippines to monitor the North's military moves, a U.S. Defense Department official said.
The SBX radar platform is a key part of the U.S.' missile defense system. It is a floating, self-propelled mobile radar station mounted on a semi-submersible drilling rig and is 85 m high and 116 m long. It costs W1 trillion (US$1=W1,119).
It is allegedly capable of tracking an object the size of a baseball about 4,800 km away, monitors missile launches, and send information to a missile interceptor base.
The U.S. also moved the USS McCain guided missile destroyer nearer to the Korean Peninsula. "The USS McCain was last dispatched here ahead of the impending North Korean rocket launch last December," a Defense Ministry official said.
A military source said the deployment of the radar platform "is designed to show that the U.S. is capable of countering the North's threat to strike the U.S. mainland with missiles."
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