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U.S. missile defense ship arrives in Japan

Reuters / Isabel Reynolds | August 29 2006

The USS Shiloh, the first missile defense-capable ship to be deployed in Japan, arrived in the port of Yokosuka on Tuesday, eight weeks after North Korea unnerved the region with a barrage of missile tests.

White-clad sailors lined the decks of the 10,000-tonne cruiser as it pulled slowly into the U.S. naval base 45 km (30 miles) southwest of Tokyo, to be greeted with a Japanese-style taiko drum performance by U.S. seamen.

The deployment of the Shiloh, boasting Standard Missile-3 interceptors for shooting down medium-range ballistic missiles, is a symbolic first step in a joint U.S.-Japanese program to try to shield Japan and the region from missile attack.

"The United States remains committed to the defense of Japan and peace and stability in the western Pacific," visiting U.S. Navy Secretary Donald Winter said in a speech at the dockside welcome ceremony.

The two allies stressed the significance of the ship's arrival as an example of the United States' strong security alliance with Japan, although the chances of preventing a missile attack on the country with a single vessel are slim.

North Korea condemned U.S. missile defense plans.

"The scheme of the U.S. war-thirsty quarters to deploy dense MD (missile defense) networks in the U.S. mainland, Japan and the Pacific reveals their wild ambition to rule the world by strength," Pyongyang's KCNA news agency reported the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper as saying in a commentary on Tuesday.

"No country in the world threatens the U.S. with missiles," it added.

The USS Shiloh, the first missile defense-capable ship to be deployed in Japan, arrived in the port of Yokosuka on Tuesday, eight weeks after North Korea unnerved the region with a barrage of missile tests.

White-clad sailors lined the decks of the 10,000-tonne cruiser as it pulled slowly into the U.S. naval base 45 km (30 miles) southwest of Tokyo, to be greeted with a Japanese-style taiko drum performance by U.S. seamen.

The deployment of the Shiloh, boasting Standard Missile-3 interceptors for shooting down medium-range ballistic missiles, is a symbolic first step in a joint U.S.-Japanese program to try to shield Japan and the region from missile attack.


"The United States remains committed to the defense of Japan and peace and stability in the western Pacific," visiting U.S. Navy Secretary Donald Winter said in a speech at the dockside welcome ceremony.

The two allies stressed the significance of the ship's arrival as an example of the United States' strong security alliance with Japan, although the chances of preventing a missile attack on the country with a single vessel are slim.

North Korea condemned U.S. missile defense plans.

"The scheme of the U.S. war-thirsty quarters to deploy dense MD (missile defense) networks in the U.S. mainland, Japan and the Pacific reveals their wild ambition to rule the world by strength," Pyongyang's KCNA news agency reported the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper as saying in a commentary on Tuesday.

"No country in the world threatens the U.S. with missiles," it added.

 

 

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