US officials reassure Poland over changes to missile defense plans

U.S. officials visiting Warsaw are trying to reassure Poland that the cancellation of the final stage of a European missile defense system will not sideline the country, and that the decision was not made to appease Russia.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced last week that plans to place long-range missile interceptors in Poland in the next decade are being abandoned and that interceptors will be placed in Alaska instead due to the threat from North Korea.

But U.S. defense and political officials on a previously scheduled visit to the Polish capital said shorter-range interceptors would still be based in Poland as part of a NATO missile defense system in Europe.

Wendy Sherman, the U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, says the Polish site "will go forward as scheduled."