In response to North Korea’s most recent antagonizing threat against the United States, the Pentagon has announced that it will begin testing a new anti-intercontinental ballistic missile system that would be able to intercept and thwart a potential missile attack from North Korea.
Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, defied international calls for Pyongyang to de-escalate aggressive actions that have brought about the possibility of World War 3. The current tensions between North Korea and the U.S. were increased on Monday when Kim Jong-un conducted yet another test of a ballistic missile.
According to a report by Reuters, North Korea’s latest missile allegedly carries new technology, thus increasing the weapon’s accuracy. It is believed that a precision guidance system will give the North Korean military the capability to correct the path of the missile while it is traveling towards its intended target.
The missile is purportedly also equipped with an advanced automated pre-launch sequence that is an improvement on their “Hwasong” missiles.
The most recent ballistic missile is reportedly a short-range rocket which traveled for an estimated 248 miles before dropping into the sea within Japan’s territory.
North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA, reported that Kim Jong-un had ordered the development of even more powerful weapons that would carry the advanced guidance systems.
KCNA also reported that Kim Jong-un “expressed the conviction that it [North Korea] would make a greater leap forward in this spirit to send a bigger ‘gift package’ to the Yankees” as a warning in light of alleged U.S. military provocation in the region.
Despite the threats of increased sanctions from international powers, the pace at which North Korea is testing missiles seems to be gaining speed. According to the aforementioned report by Reuters, Kim Jong-un has accused the United States and Japan of “preparing for war” as the two allies continue to perform navy drills in the Korean peninsula. As a result, North Korea is stepping up its development of advanced weapons that would allow the country to defend itself.
On Monday, following the news of the latest North Korean missile test, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to add his voice to the condemnation already expressed by South Korean and Japanese leaders.
North Korea has shown great disrespect for their neighbor, China, by shooting off yet another ballistic missile...but China is trying hard!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2017
According to CNN, the Pentagon has announced that it would be testing a brand new system that can prevent a North Korean missile from reaching its intended target. This move by the Pentagon is considered to be a display of the United State’s capabilities to respond to military action initiated by North Korea.
The Pentagon confirmed that the ground-based interceptor test has long been in the works, for more than a decade, and that the system is not only a response to North Korean threats, but also to the possibility of an attack initiated by Iran. The system is based in Alaska and California, and Tuesday’s test will be conducted from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
According to Pentagon officials, no more than half of the tests carried out by the Department of Defense have so far been successful. It added that the system “demonstrates a limited capability to defend the U.S. homeland from small numbers of simple intermediate-range or intercontinental ballistic missile threats launched from North Korea or Iran.”
During Tuesday’s test, a simulated attack missile will be launched from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. The Pentagon’s upgraded interceptor missile will then be launched from California in an attempt to foil the simulated missile.
As stated by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats during a briefing to Congress, “North Korea is an increasingly grave national security threat to the United States because of its growing missile and nuclear capabilities combined with the aggressive approach of its leader Kim Jong Un. Kim is attempting to prove that he has the capability to strike the U.S. mainland with a nuclear weapon.”
Over the last few weeks, the U.S. has been busy ramping up its navy presence in the Korean peninsula, intermittently conducting drills in conjunction with Japan’s military forces. In addition, the flagship of America’s aircraft carrier fleet, the USS Carl Vinson is set to perform another drill with the USS Ronald Reagan in the vicinity of the Korean peninsula.
Following a joint drill carried out by South Korea and the United States on Monday, Pyongyang lashed out and accused the allies of preparing to drop a nuclear bomb over North Korea.
A specific time for the Pentagon’s ground-based interceptor test has not been announced.
[Featured Image by William Collette/AP Images]