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U.S. to launch new Space Force command in Indo-Pacific amid N. Korean missile provocations

Defense 09:08 November 22, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. Space Force is setting up a new component command in the Indo-Pacific, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) said Monday, in a move believed to be aimed at enhancing U.S. defense capabilities against ballistic missile threats posed mainly by China but also North Korea.

In a message posted on its Twitter account, INDOPACOM said the new U.S. Space Force Indo-Pacific Command will be launched on Tuesday.

The image, captured from the Twitter account of U.S. Indo-Pacific, shows the scheduled launch of a new U.S. Space Force Indo-Pacific Command. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

It will be the first Space Force command to be established under any combatant command such as INDOPACOM.

The Space Force was established in December 2019, with a mission to "protect the interests of the United States in space, deter aggression in, from and to space, and conduct space operations."

Threats from space include intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and hypersonic missiles, according to those familiar with the issue.

North Korea conducted a record 63 ballistic missile tests this year, including eight ICBM tests, according to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

Pyongyang also claims to have successfully test-fired hypersonic missiles in January.

The new Space Force Command, once established, is expected to help improve U.S. abilities to detect and intercept ballistic missiles originating from countries in the region.

Space Force Gen. Bradley Saltzman, chief of space operations, was earlier quoted as saying that the Space Force will seek to establish component commands at combatant commands where the threat to the U.S. homeland is most acute, such as INDOPACOM, U.S. European Command and U.S. Central Command.

A Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile is erected on a launcher in this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Nov. 19, 2022, a day after the test-firing. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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