January 13, 2017 10:03
The U.S. Pentagon has deployed a giant floating radar in anticipation of an intercontinental missile launch from North Korea, CNN reported Wednesday.
The sea-based X-band radar was deployed in response to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's claim in his New Year's address on Jan. 1 that preparations for an intercontinental ballistic missile have "reached the final stage."
It has a range of 4,800 km and is capable of monitoring most of China as well as the Korean Peninsula from Okinawa.
The X-band radar is the same type as the one that will come with a U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery that is to be deployed in South Korea, but the software is different and provides for a much longer range.
The THAAD radar to be deployed here will only have a maximum range of 1,000 km.
China is nonetheless worried that the THAAD radar is meant to spy on its military activities in the region, but the U.S. and South Korean insist it is only meant to keep the South safe from North Korean missiles.
CNN did not specify exactly where the floating radar will be deployed. Other media reports said it could be deployed midway between Hawaii and Alaska after departing from its home port in northern Hawaii.
"The radar has been deployed in the West Pacific several times to monitor the North's long-range missile launches," a military source said.
"Its range is so long that there's no need to deploy it in the East Sea, but it could move from Hawaii to the West Pacific near Japan."
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