U.S. to beef up missile defense against North Korea, Iran

Updated 12:55 AM EDT, Sat March 16, 2013

Story highlights

Steps to expand missile defenses will cost $1 billion

Defense Secretary Hagel says 14 more missile interceptors will be deployed by 2017

NEW: N. Korea rocket launch, nuke test, mobile missile and threats prompt action

U.S. to work with Japan to increase radar capability to improve early warning, tracking

(CNN) —  

The United States will deploy additional ground-based missile interceptors on the West Coast as part of efforts to enhance the nation’s ability to defend itself from attack by North Korea, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Friday.

Still relatively new in his post, the Pentagon chief told reporters that 14 additional interceptors to be installed by 2017 would bring the total to 44. It is part of a package of steps expected to cost $1 billion, officials said.