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US eyes missile-defense shields for Asia, Mideast

WASHINGTON - The United States is seeking to build regional shields against ballistic missiles in both Asia and the Middle East akin to an emerging bulwark in Europe, a senior Pentagon official disclosed Monday.
The effort may complicate US ties with Russia and China, both of which fear such defenses could harm their security even though the United States says they are designed only to protect against states like Iran and North Korea.The US push for new regional bulwarks includes two sets of trilateral dialogues - one with Japan and Australia and the other with Japan and South Korea, said Madelyn Creedon, an assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs.
Such shields could help counter perceived threats to their neighbors from Iran and North Korea and help defend the United States from any future long-range missiles that the two countries might develop, she told a conference co-hosted by the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency.
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