Amid concerns over North Korea’s weapons program, the United States had successfully done a first-of-its-kind test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The US military said in a statement, “A ground-based interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile target fired from the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands yesterday.”
Director of the US Missile Defence Agency, Vice Admiral Jim Syring said, “This system is vitally important to the defence of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat.”
This test marked a vital step for the GMD system, which has had a checkered record in previous tests. The last test in 2014 was also successful but the exercise failed during the three prior attempts against slower-moving, non- ICBM missiles.
Syring said, “The intercept of a complex, threat-representative ICBM target is an incredible accomplishment for the GMD system and a critical milestone for this program.”
US Military had conducted the test, a day after the Pyongyang test fired another ballistic missile. The continuous missile tests by the North Korea to develop weapons capable of hitting the United States always raise the tensions between the two countries.
Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis told the media, yesterday’s trial was not timed specifically in response to tensions with Pyongyang but that “in a broad sense, North Korea is one of the reasons why we have this capability.”
“They continue to conduct test launches, as we saw this weekend, while also using dangerous rhetoric that suggests they would strike the United States homeland,” Davis said.