US plans to test THAAD missile defenses as N.Korea tensions mount

Alaska Gov. Bill WalkerSource Becky Bohrer  AP

Since the test launch, the United States, together with South Korea and Japan, conducted a series of drills, including testing missile systems and running a bombing drill in South Korea.

After the successful launch this week by #North Korea of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the us will conduct a new test of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense in the coming days. The test takes on greater significance after North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile earlier this week. It was a milestone for the program as it was the 10th successful intercept, the most complex and real-world test, and more importantly, the first time the system has been tested against an ICBM. Such missiles, if launched from North Korea, would be incapable of reaching the West Coast, but could strike as far as Alaska.

The test will involve a THAAD interceptor missile seeking to detect, track and engage a target, CNN quoted the official as saying.

"Each THAAD system is comprised of five major components: interceptors, launchers, a radar, a fire control unit and support equipment, according to Lockheed Martin, the security and aerospace company that serves as the prime contractor for the equipment".

Mr Turnbull said that in terms of a missile defence shield for Australia there had been talk of the THAAD system.

Pyongyang has expressed its strong opposition to the move, saying the U.S. advanced missile system in the South would destabilize the region's security by upsetting the military status quo. The joint statement claimed that Washington was using North Korea as a pretext to expand its military infrastructure in Asia.

THAAD's success rate in testing is far higher than the one for America's Ground-based Midcourse Defence system (GMD), the system specifically created to shoot down an ICBM headed for the U.S. mainland.

In a key development, the GMD system successfully shot down an incoming, simulated North Korean ICBM in a test in May. "Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!"

"North Korea has just launched another missile", Trump wrote on Monday.

India urged North Korea from refraining from such action.

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