USA conducts "successful" test of THAAD anti-missile system
31 July 2017, 12:24 | Isaac Mcdaniel
United States Forces Korea via Getty Images
The U.S. military conducted a test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system Sunday.
"In addition to successfully intercepting the target, the data collected will allow the Missile Defense Agency to enhance the THAAD weapon system", he said.
The drills involved South Korea's road-mobile ballistic missile, the Hyunmoo -2, and the USA forces' Army Tactical Missile System.
It was sacked by an Air Force Plane and intercepted by the defense system.
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.
South Korea President Moon Jae-in has called for talks with the US on deploying more anti-missile defense units in the region, and Seoul is speeding up the deployment of four additional THAAD defense system, reports said.
"We assess that this missile was an intercontinental ballistic missile, as had been expected", Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said in a statement.
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Washington is planning to test-launch its missile defense system THAAD - a unit stationed in Alaska.
But Sunday's test came two days after North Korea conducted its second test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
If Friday's missile had been fired on a flatter, standard trajectory, it would have reached as far as NY and Boston, according to David Wright, a missile expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists, in an interview with CNN.
China, North Korea's ally, condemned the missile launch and asked Pyongyang to "stop taking actions that would escalate tensions" on the Korean Peninsula. China has dramatically increased its sphere of influence over the region in recent years by expanding its Naval forces across man-made islands that span large parts of the South China Sea.
However, concerns were heightened in Washington and Seoul when Pyongyang tested its second ICBM Friday, which the USA termed "reckless and risky".
He says China "could easily solve the problem!" The last time the US tested THAAD, earlier this month, it said it successfully intercepted an intermediate-range missile target.
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