US conducts successful rocket intercept test after North Korea revealed ‘nuclear missile which could reach Alaska’

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
By Paul Martin

US tested Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system off Alaska coast
It intercepts and destroys short, medium, intermediate range ballistic missiles
Comes after North Korea tested ballistic rocket it claims can reach the US coast
US military says high-tech defensive systems can fend off North Korean attack

11 July 2017

The US military has successfully tested a missile intercept system amid tensions with North Korea, which is said to have a ballistic missile capable of reaching Alaska.

In the US test launch, a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system targeted a ballistic missile launched mid-air from an Air Force C-17 transport aircraft over the Pacific Ocean.

‘A THAAD weapon system located in Kodiak, Alaska, detected, tracked and intercepted the target,’ a US Missile Defense Agency said in a statement.

The system is designed to intercept and destroy short, medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles during the final phase of their flight.

Though such exercises are planned months in advance, this one comes after North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile it claims is capable of reaching parts of the United States for the very first time.

Although the rocket came crashing down in the Sea of Japan, it had a probable range of over 5,500km (3,400 miles) – enough to reach Alaskan shores.

The US military said it has faith its high-tech defensive systems could fend off any attack from North Korea.

‘It’s something we have confidence in,’ said Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis, who called the latest development a ‘nascent threat’.

Meanwhile, Kim Jong-un has warned US President Donald Trump he was pushing his nation to the brink of nuclear war after the US and South Korea conducted a live-fire exercise on the peninsula.

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