U.S. to strengthen missile defense for homeland, allies

The United States plans to strengthen its missile defense capability and deploy an additional radar system in Japan.

The plans are seen as a means of offering greater protection for the U.S. homeland and U.S. allies during a period of increasing tension with North Korea and Iran. Acting Undersecretary for Arms Control & International Security Rose Gottemoeller revealed the plans while addressing the Geneva Center for Security Policy, according to RTTNews.com.

Gottemoeller said the United States will strengthen its homeland missile defense by increasing the number of Ground Based Interceptors used by the system from 30 to 44.

"As mandated by the U.S. Congress, we will also explore the possibility of an additional GBI site on the east coast of the United States, though we have not made any decision to proceed with the development of an additional site," Gottemoeller said, RTTNews.com reports.

The undersecretary made the comments while speaking about the Obama administrations second term priorities for arms control and non-proliferation. She said Washington is making changes to its missile defense program in response to the growing North Korean threat and Iran's continued advancements in long-range missile and space launch technology.

Gottemoeller also emphasized the ironclad commitment of the United States to missile defense for its NATO allies, according to RTTNews.com.