U.S. says THAAD intercept test successful

US 'Successfully' Conducts THAAD Defense System Test

The United States says it successfully shot down a medium-range target ballistic missile using an interception system it hopes to set up on the Korean peninsula.

The target missile, air-launched by an Air Force C-17, was detected, tracked and intercepted by a THAAD battery at Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, an MDA statement said.

It was sacked by an Air Force Plane and intercepted by the defense system.

"In addition to successfully intercepting the target, the data collected will allow MDA to enhance the THAAD weapon system, our modeling and simulation capabilities, and our ability to stay ahead of the evolving threat", MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves said in an apparent reference to Pyongyang's missile advances.

However, early analysis of Friday's test can not determine how heavy a payload the missile was carrying in its warhead, Wright said.

The THAAD system is created to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase by intercepting with a hit-to-kill approach. It's believed that both countries had feared reprisals from Beijing, which claims that that the USA -built system would not deter Pyongyang and may further destabilize the region.

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Though such exercises are planned months in advance, this one comes after North Korea test-fired the intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday.

However, concerns were heightened in Washington and Seoul when Pyongyang tested its second ICBM Friday, which the USA termed "reckless and risky".

"By threatening the world, these weapons and tests further isolate North Korea, weaken its economy, and deprive its people". "The United States will take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the American homeland and protect our allies in the region".

The U.S. has THAAD interceptors in Guam that are meant to help guard against a missile attack from a country such as North Korea.

This test was expected after a warning from the U.S. Coast Guard last week.

The US military conducted the anti-missile test amid rising tensions with North Korea.

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