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Apr 9, 2013

U.S. can intercept N.Korean missile but may opt not to -admiral

WASHINGTON, April 9 (Reuters) – The United States is capable
of intercepting a North Korean missile, should it launch one in
the coming days, but may choose not to if the projected
trajectory shows it is not a threat, a top U.S. military
commander told Congress on Tuesday.

Admiral Samuel Locklear, the commander of U.S. forces in the
Pacific region, said the U.S. military believed North Korea had
moved to its east coast an unspecified number of Musudan
missiles, with a range of roughly 3,000-3,500 miles.

Apr 7, 2013

U.S. commander in South Korea cancels Washington trip over tensions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. commander in South Korea, General James Thurman, has canceled a scheduled trip to Washington this week due to tensions with North Korea, a spokeswoman said on Sunday.

Thurman had been due to testify before three congressional committees, where he was expected to discuss the U.S. response to threats from Pyongyang.

Apr 7, 2013

U.S. delays missile test to avoid stoking North Korea tensions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has decided to delay a long-planned missile test scheduled for next week out of California “to avoid any misperception or miscalculation,” given tensions with North Korea, a senior U.S. defense official said on Saturday.

The unusual precaution by the United States follows a barrage of hostile rhetoric from North Korea – including the threat of open war – that has created jitters in South Korea’s financial markets.

Apr 6, 2013

Obama seeks to hike veterans’ funding despite budget pressure

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will request a 4 percent increase in discretionary spending next year for the Department of Veterans Affairs, a move officials said on Friday demonstrated his commitment to veterans and their families despite intense fiscal pressure.

Obama will also seek to make permanent two tax cuts for businesses that hire veterans, an effort meant partly to help drive down unemployment among former service members from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Their jobless rate has been higher than the national average.

Apr 5, 2013

A quieter second-act for U.S.-South Korea military drills?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration, which has made military moves intended to signal to North Korea and U.S. allies that it takes Pyongyang’s threats seriously, plans to switch gears and tone down public pronouncements about joint military exercises with Seoul, U.S. officials said Thursday.

The U.S. messaging, which has included flying two B-2 stealth bombers over the Korean peninsula and the announcement of new or expanded missile defense systems in Alaska and Guam, was intended to reassure South Korea and Japan it would back them in a crisis, the officials said.

Apr 4, 2013

North Korea lacks means for nuclear strike on U.S., experts say

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea’s explicit threats this week to strike the United States with nuclear weapons are rhetorical bluster, as the isolated nation does not yet have the means to make good on them, Western officials and security experts say.

Pyongyang has slowly and steadily improved its missile capabilities in recent years and U.S. officials say its missiles may be capable of hitting outlying U.S. territories and states, including Guam, Alaska and Hawaii.

Apr 3, 2013

U.S. to send missile defenses to Guam over North Korea threat

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday it would soon send a missile defense system to Guam to defend it from North Korea, as the U.S. military adjusts to what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has called a “real and clear danger” from Pyongyang.

At the same time, North Korea repeated its threat to launch a nuclear attack on the United States. Pyongyang said it had ratified a potential strike because of U.S. military deployments around the Korean peninsula that it claimed were a prelude to a possible nuclear attack on the North.

Apr 3, 2013

U.S. to send missile defenses to Guam over ‘clear’ N. Korea danger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday it will soon send a missile defense system to Guam to defend it from North Korea, as the U.S. military adjusts to what U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel described as a “real and clear danger” from Pyongyang.

North Korea has threatened a nuclear strike on the United States and missile attacks on its Pacific bases, including in Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific, since new U.N. sanctions were imposed over the country’s third nuclear weapons test in February.

Apr 3, 2013

U.S. to send missile defenses to Guam over “clear” North Korea danger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday it will soon send a missile defense system to Guam to defend it from North Korea, as the U.S. military adjusts to what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel described as a “real and clear danger” from Pyongyang.

North Korea has threatened a nuclear strike on the United States and missile attacks on its Pacific bases, including in Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific, since new U.N. sanctions were imposed over the country’s third nuclear weapons test in February.

Apr 3, 2013

Hagel tells military to brace for further belt-tightening

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the U.S. military on Wednesday to brace for a new round of belt-tightening as he carries out a sweeping review that could slash the number of generals, pare back civilian workers and stem spiraling costs of new weapons.

But Hagel, in his first major policy speech, also warned that the United States could not allow its current fiscal and budgetary crisis to force it to retreat from its role in the world.

    • About Phil

      "Phil Stewart has worked for Reuters since 1998 and reported from more than 30 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Egypt. Before becoming a Washington D.C.-based military affairs and intelligence reporter, Phil covered terrorism, foreign affairs and the Vatican from Rome from 2004 until mid-2009. He has also previously been based in Colombia and Brazil as a foreign correspondent. Before joining Reuters, Phil covered U.S. politics out of Washington D.C. for States News Service. He earned his BS in international relations from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. ..."
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