(Freebeacon) The Pentagon has placed its national missile defense shield on heightened alert amid reports that North Korea is preparing a missile flight test, according to defense officials.

The higher alert status includes moving two Aegis-equipped missile defense ships to waters near North Korea and readying long-range ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California, said officials familiar with the status.

The Pentagon also announced on Wednesday it is deploying one of its newest ground-based missile defenses to the U.S. island of Guam, a major U.S. military hub in the South Pacific.

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