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Politics

Trump touts launch of US space-based military program

Missile Defense Review cites increasing capabilities of Russia and China

trump American missile defense doctrine
President Donald Trump said that the U.S. needed to ensure its defense capabilities were unmatched anywhere in the world at the Pentagon on Jan. 17. 

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. will develop space-based defense capabilities to counter the threat of increasingly advanced missile technology, the Pentagon has announced.

"Our goal is simple: To ensure we can detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States -- anywhere, anytime, anyplace," said President Donald Trump.

The plan forms part of the 2019 Missile Defense Review, which was released by the Department Defense on Thursday.

The review called for the development of space-based sensors to detect incoming missiles and counter hypersonic weapons -- technology reportedly being developed by China and Russia.

The U.S. needs to ensure its defense capacity is unmatched anywhere in the world, Trump added.

This is the first MDR released under the Trump administration, and marks a break with previous reviews by referring explicitly to Russia and China.

Following the trajectory of hypersonic missiles is understood to be problematic with ground-based sensors.

A Defense Department official said that the U.S. had developed technology that could be commercialized within the next few years. The department will also start considering the use of laser weapons loaded onto satellites to intercept missiles from space.

The review also stated that North Korea's missile development program continued to pose an "extraordinary threat." Such language contrasts with comments made by Trump after his summit with the country's leader Kim Jong Un in June, when he said there was "no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea."

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