One of the U.S. Navy’s most advanced guided missile destroyers arrived in Japan on Tuesday, weeks before the expected summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The USS Milius strengthens defenses against any potential ballistic missile strikes by North Korea. The move is supposed to be a reminder to Pyongyang of the U.S. military might and the pressure it is capable of applying if the meeting fails to lead to denuclearization, Reuters reported.
The warship will “support security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region by bringing enhanced missile defense capabilities as a ballistic missile defense platform,” the U.S. Navy said in a statement.
The destroyer is able to shoot down warheads in space and will become part of a naval destroyer force that is the first line of U.S. line of defense against missiles shot by North Korea.
The Milius’s arrival also coincides with doubts that the meeting might not happen after North Korea protested over recent U.S.-South Korean air combat drills.
North Korean officials also said they aren’t interested in having a meeting if the U.S. only insist on them unilaterally abandoning its nuclear weapons.
Trump fired back saying that failure to come up with an agreement that would denuclearize the regime may be the end of the Kim dynasty in the region.