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After North Korea launch, U.S. successfully tests missile interceptor

31 August 2017

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency successfully shot down a ballistic missile that was test fired early Wednesday from Kauai.

The vessel detected and tracked the target missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar, the statement read. The U.S. Navy test-launched a Standard-Missile-6 missile in July 2015 for the first time, successfully intercepting and destroying a short-range ballistic missile target at sea in its terminal phase.

Sailors on the USS John Paul Jones, a guided-missile destroyer based in Hawaii, conducted the test.

North Korea's most recent missile test on Tuesday prompted the Japanese government to tell residents to take cover.

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Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says North Korea's latest provocative missile test is a reckless violation of Japan's sovereignty.

The U.S. frequently tests elements of its missile defense systems. The military has conducted three tests in total, but during a test in June, the interceptor failed as a result of human error.

The test comes after North Korea fired a ballistic missile from its capital Pyongyang that flew over Japan before plunging into the northern Pacific Ocean on Tuesday, an aggressive test-flight over the territory of a close USA ally that sends a clear message of defiance as Washington and Seoul conduct war games nearby. A Standard Missile-3 Block IIA jointly developed by the USA and Japan failed to intercept its target. "Earlier this year, our customer requested an enhanced capability to deal with a sophisticated medium-range ballistic missile threat", Raytheon's Standard Missile-6 senior program director said in the August 30 statement.

In that test, the interceptor collided with the ICBM-class target over the Pacific Ocean a little more than one hour after it was launched.

After North Korea launch, U.S. successfully tests missile interceptor