Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls on Secretary of Defense to Increase Commitment to Missile Defense Against North Korea Threat
March 22, 2016
Washington, DC—During a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the FY2017 defense budget today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) called on Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford to maintain focus on the current and emerging threats in the Asia Pacific, including the threat of North Korea, and increase commitment to missile defense for Hawaiʻi and our homeland.
“North Korea’s launch of 5 short range missiles yesterday serves as yet another reminder of the serious threat North Korea poses to Hawaiʻi and the mainland. Addressing this threat must remain at the forefront as we look at how and where we are placing and investing our defense resources,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “Secretary Carter said today the Department of Defense is working to enhance our country’s defense against North Korean missiles by increasing the number of interceptors to stop those missiles and adding additional radar to detect them. I will continue to work with Secretary Carter and the DOD to ensure those systems are fielded as quickly as possible and ready to protect Hawaiʻi.”
Following Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s questions regarding the status of consultations with South Korea and about the Department of Defense’s commitment to continuing to increase and enhance missile capabilities in the United States, Secretary Carter acknowledged the important role that facilities like the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauaʻi play in allowing the U.S. to develop and test missile defenses.
Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has continually advocated for the protection of Hawai‘i and American territories in the Pacific from the growing threat posed by North Korea, and is a strong advocate for U.S. investment in missile defense. She has long favored strong sanctions against North Korea, and was an original cosponsor of the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act signed in to law on February 18, 2016.