TOKYO, December 3. /TASS/. The US plans to deploy ground-based intermediate-range missiles in the Indo-Pacific region in 2024 to step up deterrence against China, the Nikkei newspaper reported, citing a US military official.
It would be the first time since the end Cold War for this type of weapons to be placed in the region, the report said.
Rob Phillips, a spokesperson for US Army Pacific Command, said options under consideration include land-based versions of the Standard Missile-6 and the Tomahawk cruise missile. The missiles are believed to have ranges of between 500 and 2,700 kilometers.
Phillips did not disclose exactly when and where the missiles could be deployed. Analysts believe the primary locations could be US military bases on Guam. Nikkei wrote that Japan and the Philippines are reluctant to host new US military capabilities as they fear becoming a target for China in the event of an armed conflict in the region.
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev earlier said Japan's participation in the Pentagon's plans to deploy intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles in Asia poses additional threats to the security of Russia's Far East. Nikolai Nozdrev, director of the Third Asia Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry, said Russia would have to adapt its defense strategy in the event that such missiles were deployed in Japan.