WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Department of State has signed off on Japan's request to purchase Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missiles for an estimated cost of $133.3 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced in a press release.
"The government of Japan has requested a possible sale of four (4) Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missiles," the release said on Tuesday. "Also included are four (4) MK 29 missile canisters, US government and contractor representatives' technical assistance, transportation, engineering and logistics support services and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total case value is $133.3 million."
Tuesday’s announcement comes amid efforts by Japan to beef up its defenses against North Korean missiles.
Unlike previous US leaders, President Donald Trump has openly threatened North Korea with nuclear retaliation in tit-for-tat exchanges of public statements with the communist nation’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
Nevertheless, the United States on Tuesday welcomed an agreement between Seoul and Pyongyang to let North Korean athletes participate in next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea as a possible opening for future multilateral talks on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.