Kim Jong Un warns of North Korea's 'gift package' for US
- Author: Leroy Wright May 31, 2017,
May 31, 2017, 8:43
US forces, using data from satellites and radar, will fire a ground-based interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The exercise will check the performance of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, which has had a checkered record in previous tests.
It was the third ballistic missile test launch since South Korea's liberal President Moon Jae-in took office on May 10 pledging to engage with the reclusive neighbor in dialogue.
Scuds are capable of striking at American troops in South Korea, for instance, and two newly developed missiles tested earlier this month have potential ranges that include Japan, Guam and even, according to some South Korean analysts, Alaska.
The MDA's announcement says this test was the first live-fire test against an ICBM-class target - not, as many headlines have already claimed, the first successful interception.
North Korea's ballistic missile test on Monday was its ninth this year, the South Korean military says, in an ongoing challenge to new leaders in both the United States and South Korea.
Prior to the launch, the GMD system had successfully hit its target in only nine of 17 tests since 1999.
The U.S. announced the Pentagon was testing a new anti-missile system in response to the threat from North Korea.
The California test came as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said the Trump administration believed Beijing was using back channels with North Korea in an attempt to get it to stop missile and nuclear tests.
North Korea test launched a short-range ballistic missile on Monday that landed in the sea off its east coast, the latest in a fast-paced series of missile tests defying world pressure and threats of more sanctions.
FILE - In this May 2, 2017, file photo, a USA missile defense system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, is installed on a golf course in Seongju, South Korea.
North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan's maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the USA mainland. This move by the Pentagon is considered to be a display of the United State's capabilities to respond to military action initiated by North Korea.
"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", said the U.S. military statement.