|US Global Missile Defense (GMD) System|
By Lee Haye-ah
WASHINGTON, July 14 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a defense bill calling for increased spending on missile defense programs amid North Korea's evolving threats.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (H.R. 2810) passed 344-81 to order US$696 billion for defense in the fiscal year 2018, including some $12.5 billion for missile defense programs.
"The Committee continues to be a strong supporter of a robust missile defense program given the increasing threats against our homeland and regional allies posed by North Korea, Iran and others," the House Committee on Armed Services said in a summary of the bill posted on its website. "The bill adds $2.5 billion above the President's budget request to meet critical missile defense needs. It also recognizes the increasing quantitative and qualitative nature of the ballistic missile threats we face as a nation."
The bill's passage follows the North's first test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile last week. Experts say the missile could reach Alaska and parts of the mainland U.S. if further developed.
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), chairman of the committee, hailed the bill as a boost to the armed forces.
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