WASHINGTON, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young issued the following statement today after the Pentagon announced it will be strengthening its missile defense systems on the West Coast in response to the latest threats from North Korea.
“North Korea’s latest actions serve as a harsh reminder of how dangerous our world really is and how vigilant we must be to protect our great nation,” Rep. Young said. “For the last 40 years I have reminded people that General Bill Mitchell called Alaska, ‘the most strategic place in the world.’ Today’s announcement to deploy more ground-based missile interceptors is vital to maintaining our deterrence posture. Alaska is the frontline in defending the United States of America against a missile threat from North Korea.”
“From the 14 new ground-based missile interceptors, to the fish in supermarkets across the country, to gasoline in our fuel tanks, people often forgot how important Alaska is to this country. I am glad that Secretary Hagel and the Administration seem to understand Alaska’s strategic importance. Next week, I will be inviting Secretary Hagel up to Alaska to see for himself how critical Alaska’s military is to the defense of this great nation.”
Congressman Young has been a strong advocate of the U.S. missile defense programs, helping champion the National Missile Defense Act in 1999, forcing the eventual abrogation of the 1972 Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty and allowing construction at Ft. Greely to defend against a missile launch from North Korea. Congressman Young also recently sent a letter to President Obama stressing the need for robust missile defense funding. To read the letter, click here.