The United States announced another successful round of tests of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system following North Korea’s launch of a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) confirmed the successful test on Sunday. This was the 15th test of the THAAD missile system. The U.S. military reports that the THAAD system has successfully hit targeted missiles during all 15 test attempts.
The MDA released a statement saying, “A medium-range target ballistic missile (MRBM) was air-launched by a U.S. Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean. The THAAD weapon system located at Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska, detected, tracked and intercepted the target.”
The recent ICBM launched by North Korea is said to be capable of striking New York City. This firmly places the entire continental United States within the range of North Korean military missile strike.
The latest ICBM launch by North Korea, has prompted South Korean President Moon Jae-in to request the United States to deploy more THAAD missile defense units on the Korean peninsula.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley took to twitter on Sunday to release a statement. Haley stated, “The time for talk is over. The danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all.”
Haley’s word were issued as a urgent prompting for China to do more to exert pressure on North Korea to not violate U.N. Security Council resolutions with its missile and nuclear programs.
U.S. President Donald Trump released a written statement condemning the North Korean missile test. Trump stated, “The United States will take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the American homeland and protect our allies in the region.”
China expressed disapproval of North Korea’s missile test on Saturday. Geng Shuang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, stated, “China is opposed to North Korea’s launch activities in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and against the will of the international community.”
The MDA conveyed, “Soldiers from the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade conducted launcher, fire control and radar operations using the same procedures they would use in an actual combat scenario. Soldiers operating the equipment were not aware of the actual target launch time.”
The THAAD missile defense system has never been used in a live combat situation.
[Featured Image by Lee Jin-man, Wong Maye-E/AP Images]