Missile defense equipment moved to Hawaii

In response to reports that North Korea is readying a missile launch toward Hawaii, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has moved ground to air missile defense equipment to the Aloha State.

News broke on Thursday that North Korea may be preparing to launch a Taepodong-2 long-range missile around July 4. The missile is believed to be able to fly 4,000 miles, which would put Hawaii out of range by about 500 miles.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. has moved a (rather cool looking) sophisticated floating radar system near Hawaii. The U.S. has also moved ground to air anti-missile equipment to the area.

"We do have some concerns if they were to launch a missile...in the direction of Hawaii," Mr. Gates said, according to the Journal. "We are in a good position, should it become necessary, to protect American territory."

If North Korea does fire the missile, the administration will be faced with a tough decision. Launching the ground to air anti-missile system in an attempt to strike down the missile mid-air could be unsuccessful and, if it fails, could be interpreted as a sign of weakness in Pyongyang.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com

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