The U.S. has conducted a successful test of its Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, intercepting a medium-range target ballistic missile for its 15th success in 15 tries, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) said in a statement Sunday. "The THAAD weapon system located at Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska, detected, tracked and intercepted the target".
"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.
Earlier this month, the US conducted a successful test of the THAAD system against an intermediate-range ballistic missile from the same site in Alaska.
Earlier this month, USA officials told Reuters that the military was planning a test amid tensions with North Korea.
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The THAAD element provides a globally-transportable, rapidly-deployable capability to intercept ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight.
South Korea President Moon Jae-in has called for talks with the USA 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.
North Korea's missile test has prompted Seoul to deploy four additional THAAD units, according to a Reuters report.
"This was the 15th successful intercept in 15 tests for the THAAD weapon system", the MDA said.
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The exercise will help the U.S.
THAAD is a ground-based missile defense system.
That missile can reach deep into the US mainland if launched on a standard trajectory, according to experts.
Authorities say the exercise was successful and will help the USA stay ahead of the evolving threat.
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"If the USA continues to frantically cling on to the so-called "strong sanctions" and military adventures against us, we will respond with firm action of justice that we had already made clear". The US claims North Korea poses a threat against its mainland as well as its two Asia-Pacific allies South Korea and Japan. It uses "hit-to-kill" technology where kinetic energy from the interceptor missile destroys an incoming target.