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U.S. announces successful THAAD test after N.K. missile launch

All Headlines 00:45 July 12, 2017

WASHINGTON, July 11 (Yonhap) -- The United States on Tuesday announced a successful test of its missile defense system in the wake of North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile launch last week.

The Missile Defense Agency said it conducted a test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system earlier in the day by air-launching a ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii. The test came a week after North Korea carried out its first test of an ICBM believed to be capable of hitting the continental U.S.

"A THAAD weapon system located at PSCA (Pacific Spaceport Complex) in Kodiak, Alaska, detected, tracked and intercepted the target," the MDA said in a news release. "Preliminary indications are that planned flight test objectives were achieved and the threat-representative, intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) target was successfully intercepted by the THAAD weapon system."

It was the 14th successful intercept in 14 tests of the THAAD system, according to the agency.

South Korea also hosts a THAAD battery to deter North Korea's nuclear and missile threats. The allies deployed the system in March despite fierce opposition from China and Russia, which regard it as a threat to their security interests.

"The successful demonstration of THAAD against an IRBM-range missile threat bolsters the country's defensive capability against developing missile threats in North Korea and other countries around the globe and contributes to the broader strategic deterrence architecture," the agency said.

MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves was also quoted as saying, "I couldn't be more proud of the government and contractor team who executed this flight test today. This test further demonstrates the capabilities of the THAAD weapon system and its ability to intercept and destroy ballistic missile threats. THAAD continues to protect our citizens, deployed forces and allies from a real and growing threat."

hague@yna.co.kr
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