By Molly K. Hooper - 03/17/13 02:41 PM EDT
The top-ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Sunday praised the administration’s decision to bolster the West Coast missile defense, after threats from North Korea.
“I think all of us applaud the efforts to beef up our missile defense on the west coast,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on “Fox News Sunday” of efforts to deal with the potential nuclear threat from the rogue nation.
“I don’t think the threat is imminent, I don’t think they have the delivery mechanisms that are necessary to really harm us but I think it’s really good that we’re taking those precautionary measures to make sure they do not do damage,” Corker said.
The ranking member told host Chris Wallace, that he’s going to be speaking with the Pentagon and State Department this week to hash out the “technical issues.”
The administration announced last week that it would augment its missile-defense capabilities in Alaska by deploying additional missile interceptors on the West Coast.
“The reason we're advancing our program here for homeland security is to not take any chances, is to stay ahead of the threat and to assure any contingency,” said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
The move came after North Korea ramped up its rhetoric against the United States and South Korea and on the heels of a recent nuclear test.
Pyongyang has in recent weeks threatened to declare the end of the armistice which ended the Korean War and criticized new sanctions passed by the United Nations Security Council and military training exercises being held by Seoul and Washington.