USA

N. Korea prepared for new ICBM test: state media

N. Korea prepared for new ICBM test: state media

In the wake of North Korea's threat to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with sufficient range to hit the USA mainland, the Pentagon announced Tuesday that its first live-fire test to shoot down an ICBM using its own ground-based missile defense system was a complete success.

During the test, an ICBM-class target was sacked from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the Marshall Islands and a ground-based interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and its exo-atmospheric kill vehicle "intercepted and destroyed the target in a direct collision", the Pentagon said.

Jim Syring is the vice admiral who directs the Pentagon agency in charge of developing the missile defense system. The MDA said its mission was to develop a missile defense system to defend the US, its deployed forces, allies and friends from limited ballistic missile attacks of "all ranges in all phases of flight".

"North Korea has expanded the size and the sophistication of its ballistic missile forces from close-range ballistic missiles to intercontinental ballistic missiles".

The U.S. military on Tuesday conducted a flight test to exercise the ground-based mid-course defence element of the nation's ballistic missile defence system. But, in return, the U.S. authorities have confirmed that this missile test is not an aggressor test against the North Korean, instead this test was scheduled for a long time, many years before.

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"This is the first test event against an ICBM-class target for the ground-based mid-course defense system".

"While I am thankful this test was a success and I look forward to the emplacement of the remaining GBIs (ground-based interceptors) at Fort Greely, we need to do more to ensure that our missile defense system continues to advance ahead of the rapidly increasing North Korean threat", Sullivan said.

"Initial indications are that the test met its primary objective, but program officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test", the United States military statement read.

The long-planned trial comes amid increased tensions with North Korea.

The missile defense system will comprise 44 interceptors by the end of the year, so it could thwart an attack from a rogue state or a volley of rockets. A simulated attack intercontinental ballistic missile was sacked from a tiny island in the Pacific.


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