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U.S. sending defensive missiles to Guam

By CNN Staff
updated 3:49 PM EDT, Wed April 3, 2013
The defense system includes missiles, a truck-mounted launcher and radar.
The defense system includes missiles, a truck-mounted launcher and radar.

(CNN) -- The U.S. military is sending a land-based missile defense system to Guam to defend against possible North Korean ballistic missile launches, according to a news release from the Department of Defense.

The statement said the missiles, a truck-mounted launcher, and radar and target acquisition systems will be deployed in the "coming weeks."

The system, called the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, fires missiles at enemy targets in the "terminal phase" as they approach defended territory.

Guam is about 2,000 miles from North Korea. Most observers say North Korea is still years away from having the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead on a missile, but it does have plenty of conventional military firepower, including medium-range ballistic missiles that can carry high explosives for hundreds of miles.

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