Czech premier: US missile defense plan necessary

The Czech prime minister told a summit of 15 European leaders Friday that a planned missile defense system, parts of which the United States wants to base in the Czech Republic and Poland, is vital to Europe's security. "The defense of Europe against missiles from some states and organizations is a necessary step which will significantly increase our security and also the security of our European allies and neighbors," Mirek Topolanek told the annual gathering of presidents from central, southern and eastern Europe. The US made a formal request in January to place a radar base in a military area southwest of Prague and 10 interceptor missiles in neighboring Poland as part of a planned global missile defense shield that Washington says would protect against a potential threat from Iran or North Korea.