The Trump administration intends to develop a “state of the art” missile defense system to protect against attacks from Iran and North Korea, the White House said on Friday, according to Reuters.
The statement, posted on the White House website within minutes of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, did not provide details on whether the system would differ from those already under development, its cost or how it would be paid for.
The announcement follows recent threats by North Korea of an impending test-launching of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Trump recently responded to the threats by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un by tweeting, “North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won’t happen!”
Former White House spokesman Josh Earnest said several weeks ago that the United States has no indication that North Korea’s nuclear capabilities have changed.
With regard to Iran, Trump has spoken out against the nuclear deal between Iran and the West, promising during his election campaign to “rip it up”.
Iranian officials, however, have downplayed Trump’s threats to annul the nuclear deal, insisting he cannot do so even if he wishes.
On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif promised a “surprise” for Trump if he indeed annuls the deal.