US tests defense system after North Korea missile launch

by Garry Watts July 31, 2017, 0:28
US tests defense system after North Korea missile launch

The Air Force launched a medium-range ballistic missile over the Pacific that was "detected, tracked and intercepted" by the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system located at a complex in Kodiak, Alaska, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said in a statement.

"Notwithstanding effectively catching the objective, the information gathered will enable MDA to upgrade the THAAD weapon framework, our displaying and reenactment capacities, and our capacity to remain in front of the advancing risk", said MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves in an announcement.

Sunday's test marked the 15th successful intercept out of 15 THAAD tests, and it was carried out to collect "threat data" from an interceptor, the MDA said.

USA forces sent two B-1 bombers from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam on a 10-hour round trip Saturday over the Korean Peninsula.

Overseeing the test was North Korean leader Kim Jung-un, who said the long-range missile demonstrated the country's surprise attack capability and sent a "serious warning" to the US.

Parts of the THAAD defense system were brought into South Korea under the government of ousted President Park Geun-Hye.

South Korea said Saturday it will speed up deployment of a THAAD battery on its territory because of the latest North Korean test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

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The THAAD system is capable of intercepting ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere.

North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Hwasong-14 being lauched at an undisclosed place in North Korea, July 28, 2017. It didn't specify exactly where the missile was stopped.

The US military this year began deploying THAAD to South Korea, a move that infuriated China, which has argued the deployment would further destabilize the situation on the Korean peninsula.

"The whole U.S. mainland" is now within reach, state media quoted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as saying.

The B-1s teamed up with Japanese and South Korean fighter jets to test "combined capabilities" during the mission, the USA military said in a statement.

The U.S. Army launched the missile Sunday over the Pacific Ocean.

He says China "could easily solve the problem!"


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