Washington: Donald Trump has announced plans to develop a missile defence system to protect the US against attacks from Iran and North Korea.
Within minutes of his inauguration as US President, Mr Trump’s administration said it would develop a “state of the art” system. It did not provide details on whether the missile defence system would differ from those already under development, how much it would cost or how it would be paid for.
In a policy statement on the White House website, Mr Trump’s administration said the move was part of its strategy to “rebuild our military”. On the President’s campaign website, Mr Trump’s team said it would invest in the system to
“meet growing threats” and “counter the ballistic missile threat from Iran and North Korea”.
The policy announcement comes just a day after reports that Pyongyang was readying a test of a new, upgraded intercontinental ballistic missile prototype.
According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, news of the test appeared to have been intentionally leaked by North Korea to send a “strategic message” to Mr Trump.
A US intelligence official told Reuters the exercise “would more likely be a test of Trump than a test of a delivery system”, adding: “If they really want to poke him, they’ll do it right away.”
In further measures, Mr Trump’s administration said it would reverse cutbacks to the defence budget and “submit a new budget to Congress outlining a plan to rebuild our military”.
It added: “We will provide our military leaders with the means to plan for our future defence needs.”
As Mr Trump’s pledges were published on the White House website, references to climate change were deleted and replaced with the President’s “America First Energy Plan”.
The policy outlines intentions to scrap the “harmful and unnecessary” Climate Action Plan and Waters of the US rule brought in by Barack Obama.
It adds that the US has been “held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry”.
Also detailed are plans to cut tax rates for workers and businesses, as well as a withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.