TOKYO -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the U.S. will deploy two additional ballistic missile defense destroyers to Japan by 2017 as part of an effort to bolster protection from North Korean missile threats.

Speaking to reporters Sunday in Tokyo, Hagel says a key focus of his talks with Japan Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera revolve around the threat posed by Pyongyang.

Hagel tells reporters the two additional ships are in response to what he describes as North Korea's "pattern of provocative and destabilizing actions," including missile launches that violate U.N. resolutions. And he says the ships also will provide the U.S. more protection from those threats.

The U.S. already has five of the high-tech Aegis warships in Japan.

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