President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to allocate $1 billion for a $2 billion project to upgrade America’s missile defense systems is not a good look for the Pentagon, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The announcement came amid an escalating military confrontation between North Korea and the United States over a series of ballistic missile tests.
In a statement to the Journal, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm.
John Kirby said the upgrade would “improve missile defense capabilities, deter threats from North Korea, and provide greater protection to the American homeland.”
“The Pentagon will continue to work with our partners to address the threats posed by North Korea,” Kirby said.
The Journal reported that a separate proposal from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis would see the Pentagon purchase two new Block IV ICBMs and six new Joint Direct Attack Munitions, the same types of weapons that North Korea has been testing.
The upgrade, according to the report, would increase the size of the missile defense system by about two times over the current version, which was designed in the 1960s to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
The WSJ reported that the Pentagon has been working to get its own missile defense program up and running.
In April, the Pentagon ordered $500 million for a new ballistic missile defense capability.
The Defense Department has been ramping up its missile defense effort in response to Pyongyang’s recent nuclear test and missile launches.
The WSJD reported that North Korean state media said the country is now working on a new ICBM.
“North Korea’s first ICBM launch in January 2018 was its fourth in four years and the country has carried out more than 100 missile tests since then, including several tests this year,” the WSJD report said.