Alaska figures in national missile defense plan

    Juneau, Alaska (AP) The United States Senate is expected to vote this week on a large defense spending bill, part of which, impacts Alaska.

    The $700 billion defense budget bill includes an expansion of US Missile defense systems in Alaska.  With North Korea's nuclear program a clear threat to the U.S. and its allies, the bill would provide $8.5 billion to strengthen U.S. missile and defense systems. That's $630 million more than the Trump administration sought for those programs.

    North Korea last week conducted its longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile, firing an intermediate-range weapon over U.S. ally Japan into the northern Pacific Ocean. The launch signaled both defiance of its rivals and a significant technological advance.  The legislation requires the Defense Department to deploy up to 14 additional ground-based interceptors at Fort Greely, Alaska, that will expand to 58 the number of interceptors designed to destroy incoming warheads.

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