The Raw Data
Unspun and unbiased. These are the facts.
A U.S. State Department statement on Tuesday confirmed the Trump administration approved a proposed sale of SM-3 anti-ballistic missiles to Japan, and asked Congress to approve the sale. Included in the deal by Raytheon Co and BAE Systems are four Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA anti-ballistic missiles, four MK 29 missile canisters, and logistical, technical and engineering support services. The deal is valued at an estimated $133.3 million. A State Department official said the potential sale would enhance Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force’s ability to “defend Japan and the Western Pacific from ballistic missile threats.”
On Aug. 29, North Korea launched a ballistic missile that flew over Japan for the first time since 2009, after which Japan called a meeting with the U.N. Security Council. On Nov. 29, the North launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, saying the missile “meets the goal of the completion of the rocket weaponry system development” and that it was capable of striking the U.S. mainland.
In December, Japan formally decided to use U.S.-made ground-based Aegis radar stations and interceptors to expand its defense system. According to Japan’s state broadcaster NHK, last month, Japan’s cabinet approved a plan for the country to purchase two U.S.-built Aegis missile defense systems. A U.S. State Department official confirmed Wednesday that the SM-3 Block IIA missile in the proposed sale can be deployed on land or on Aegis-class destroyers.
For more information on North Korea’s missile and nuclear development, see our timeline here.