US Successful Missile Defense Test Matters For Americans: Here's Why

US Successful Missile Defense Test Matters For Americans: Here's Why

This was the first live-fire test event against an ICBM-class target for GMD and the USA ballistic missile defense system, according to an MDA spokesperson. It was destroyed by another missile fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Concern among the global community over the North's weapons programme was further raised after North Korea test-fired yet another ballistic missile this week, the latest in a series of launches that has ratcheted up tensions over Pyongyang's quest to develop weapons capable of hitting the US.

This is akin to one bullet hitting another in terms of complexity and the distances traveled, noted some experts, and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) called the feat an "incredible accomplishment".

This was the first live-fire test event against an ICBM-class target for GMD and the US ballistic missile defense system.

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While the U.S. anti-missile system test was, according to the Pentagon, planned for months and not specifically created to stop incoming missiles from North Korea, Pentagon spokesperson and U.S. Navy Captain Jeff Davis, acknowledged that the military had the rogue nation on its mind in carrying out Tuesday's test.

The GMD has successfully hit its target in nine of the 17 tests conducted since 1999.

The Pentagon has insisted that Tuesday's test was scheduled years in advance, and has nothing to do with current tensions between the USA and North Korea over Pyongyang's continued testing of ballistic missiles.

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

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"We are replicating our ability to defend the United States of America from North Korea, today", Ellison said.

"The real question is 'what has been demonstrated?' Before this test, the Pentagon's highest testing official said that the testing program to date was not sufficient to demonstrate an operationally relevant capability", Dr. Laura Grego, Senior Scientist at the Global Security Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists, told NK News.

According to Admiral Syring, Tuesday's test cost $244 million. The last test was in 2014. The long-planned trial comes amid increased tensions with North Korea.

The US' missile was part of its Ground-based Midcourse Defence system. North Korean state television (KRT) aired on Tuesday video of Kim apparently giving field guidance at the test fire of a Scud-type ballistic missile, which reportedly took place the previous day.

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During the tests, an ICBM-class target was launched from the Raegan Test Site in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.