U.S. Test Successfully Intercepts Ballistic Missile

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A medium-range ballistic missile was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii, on Wednesday. Missiles fired from the destroyer John Paul Jones intercepted it. Credit Latonja Martin/Missile Defense Agency

WASHINGTON — The United States conducted a missile-defense test on Wednesday off the coast of Hawaii and intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile, just days after North Korea’s bold missile test over Japan.

The missile test on Wednesday was conducted by the United States Missile Defense Agency and Navy sailors on the John Paul Jones, a guided-missile destroyer.

“We are working closely with the fleet to develop this important new capability, and this was a key milestone,” in advancing the capability to intercept missiles, said Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves, the director of the Missile Defense Agency, which is part of the Defense Department. “We will continue developing ballistic missile-defense technologies to stay ahead of the threat as it evolves.”

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have been rising in recent months over Pyongyang’s development of its nuclear program.

The United States regularly tests its missile-defense systems, and this was the second time one of its Standard Missile-6 missiles successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile, the agency said. The test had long been planned.

North Korea’s most recent missile test early Tuesday local time prompted the Japanese government to tell residents to take cover. That missile traveled over the northern island of Hokkaido and landed in the sea. The test was considered a direct challenge to President Trump, who has threatened the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, that America would respond with “fire and fury” to provocations.

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Source: New York Times

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