USA successfully destroys mock warhead in anti-missile test

The test, originally scheduled for a year ago, was pushed back as the Missile Defense Agency made engineering changes to the interceptor, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office released Tuesday.

After the United States military successfully tested a new type of anti-missile rocket Tuesday, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un remained defiant, issuing another in his series of grave warnings to the USA of his intentions to use nuclear weapons.

"I was confident before the test that we had the capability to defeat any threat that they would throw at us".

"Unfortunately, the $40 billion system's successful testing record now stands at just 40 percent since it was declared operational in 2004, despite all tests being highly scripted for success", the center said in a statement. The mock threat was launched from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the Marshall Islands, and it was met by an interceptor launched from a silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. As a result, radar systems in Japan and Alaska weren't in use during the test.

The success of Tuesday's test is a watershed moment for the U.S. military's effort to establish an effective - though limited - ground-based defense against ICBMs. 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.

Syring said the intercept outpaces foreign threats to the USA through 2020, which is how far out the US has designed these tests to replicate intelligence projections.

But on Wednesday, after the U.S. test, Pyongyang suggested it was prepared to launch a long-range ballistic missile in the near future.

The Associated Press said the Pentagon calls the tactic "hitting a bullet with a bullet".

Reports of USA testing are being used in North Korea state media to justify the regime's missile development.

While Tuesday's test wasn't designed with the expectation of an imminent North Korean missile threat, the military wants progress toward the stated goal of being able to shoot down a small number of ICBMs targeting the United States. Critics are also questioning whether the test is capable of providing defense against an actual North Korean ICBM.

Syring, however, said that the test was based on intelligence projections of where the missile threat to the United States would be in 2020.

A ground-based missile defense system contains sensors and they are deployed across the world, including the seas, and in space.

Trump is seeking to gain China's support in reigning in North Korea's programs.

  • Leroy Wright