WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) -- The United States Senate on Monday passed a bill that calls for boosting missile defenses and providing greater security assurances to its ally South Korea amid North Korea's growing threats.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 passed 89-8 to inject US$700 billion into the Pentagon budget, including some $8.5 billion toward strengthening U.S. missile and defense systems. That was $630 million more than what the Donald Trump administration reportedly sought.
The defense policy bill calls on Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to submit a plan to enhance the extended deterrence of the U.S. toward South Korea and Japan.
Tensions have escalated in the region in the wake of North Korea's repeated provocations, including two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July and a sixth nuclear test earlier this month.
Through extended deterrence, the U.S. has committed to defending its allies by mobilizing all military capabilities, including nuclear and conventional.
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