WASHINGTON – The US Department of State approved on Tuesday the sale of missiles worth $133.3 million to Japan, saying that it will serve to reinforce the Asian country’s defense against the ballistic missile threat from North Korea.
The consignment, which must still be approved by Congress, includes the sales of four missiles for the SM-3 interceptor Block IIA system and four MK29 launchers, in addition to the provision of technical and operational support by the US.
The sale would also “follow through on President (Donald) Trump’s commitment to provide additional defensive capabilities to treaty allies” threatened by North Korea’s “provocative behavior,” a State Department official said in a statement.
According to the statement, Japan will be able to strengthen its missile defense system with these weapons and the security of the US facilities in the region will thus also be increased.
According to the latest official data released by the US State Department, in 2016 Congress authorized the sale of weapons to Japan worth $7.995 billion.