Ballistic Missile Defense System Test Successful

North Korea launches ICBM into Sea of Japan US

North Korea launches ICBM into Sea of Japan US

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) was able to intercept a ballistic missile launched over the Pacific Ocean by a U.S. Air Force C-17 plane in the "successful" test - meant to simulate a real missile fired by Pyongyang.

The test was conducted to gather threat data from a THAAD interceptor in flight, it added.

The United States said it conducted a successful missile defense test in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday amid growing tensions with North Korea.

The test was planned prior to North Korea's test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday.

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

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

A Tokyo-based pro-North Korean news media has said Pyongyang won't stop its missile tests unless the USA changes its hostile policy. THAAD is strictly a defensive weapon system. 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. The US claims North Korea poses a threat against its mainland as well as its two Asia-Pacific allies South Korea and Japan.

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However, early analysis of Friday's test can not determine how heavy a payload the missile was carrying in its warhead, Wright said. Following the launch, the US and South Korean militaries responded by firing surface-to-surface missiles amid increasing tensions on the peninsula.

The U.S. isn't ignoring the country's actions.

Authorities say the exercise was successful and will help the US stay ahead of the evolving threat.

"The U.N. Security Council has clear regulations on North Korea's launch activities that use ballistic missile technologies".

In a statement, the Army said the exercise involved Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and South Korea's Hyunmoo Missile II.

North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Hwasong-14 being lauched at an undisclosed place in North Korea, July 28, 2017.

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