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Gates: U.S. ready if North Korea sends missile toward Hawaii

  • Story Highlights
  • Japanese media reported North Korea preparing to make a launch
  • Gates: U.S. officials are watching the situation carefully
  • Missile interceptors and radar equipment are in the region
From Adam Levine
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday the United States could defend itself against a missile should the North Koreans launch one toward Hawaii.

Japanese media reported Thursday that the North Koreans are preparing to make such a launch.

Gates said U.S. officials are watching the situation carefully.

"We do have some concerns if they were to launch a missile" toward Hawaii, he told reporters.

But with missile interceptors and radar equipment in the region, "we are in a good position should it become necessary to protect the American territory," Gates said.

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