Japan formally decided on Tuesday it would expand its ballistic missile defense system with U.S.-made ground-based Aegis radar stations and interceptors in response to a growing threat from North Korean rockets.

The decision to acquire the ground version of the Aegis missile-defense system, which is already deployed on Japanese warships, was widely expected.

“North Korea’s nuclear missile development poses a new level of threat to Japan and as we have done in the past we will ensure that we are able to defend ourselves with a drastic improvement in ballistic missile defense,” Japanese Minister of Defence Itsunori Onodera told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

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