US Shoots Down Medium-Range Ballistic Missile In Hawaii Test

North Korea fires missile over Japan, provoking rebuke
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31 August, 2017

The USS John Paul Jones, a guided-missile destroyer successfully launched an SM-6 interceptor missile to shoot down the target.

Missiles fired from a U.S. Navy ship intercepted an airborne target in a successful ballistic-missile defense test off the coast of Hawaii yesterday (Aug. 29), U.S. military officials said.

Monday's test missile was launched from Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai in Hawaii. "We will continue developing ballistic missile defense technologies to stay ahead of the threat as it evolves". Sailors aboard the destroyer USS John Paul Jones tracked it with radar and fired an interceptor missile to shoot it down.

Early on Tuesday, North Korea carried out a test which saw a ballistic missile fly over the Japanese island of Hokkaido and land in the Pacific Ocean after flying more than 2,700 kilometers (1700 miles).

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The U.S. military still has numerous missile defense assets - from Patriot interceptors to Terminal High Altitude Area Defense systems - in the area though.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have been rising in recent months over Pyongyang's development of its nuclear program. 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. That was the 15th intercept in 15 tests for the THAAD system, according to the MDA. Washington and its allies called an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting for later Tuesday, but looked short on new ideas for stopping the nuclear and missile advances that are increasingly putting the USA mainland within range. A Standard Missile-3 Block IIA jointly developed by the USA and Japan failed to intercept its target.

The August 30 test launch was the third time that the Standard Missile-6 successfully engaged a ballistic missile target in its terminal phase.


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