US tests defense system after North Korea missile launch

US 'Successfully' Conducts THAAD Defense System Test

The U.S. military conducts a test of its missile defense system amid tensions with North Korea.

US officials say they've successfully conducted a missile defense test using a medium-range ballistic missile.

The U.S. Air Force launched a medium-range ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean, and the THAAD system - in Kodiak, Alaska - "detected, tracked and intercepted the target", according to the MDA's statement.

The test of the so-called THAAD system, which the United States wants to set up in South Korea, came two days after North Korea's second test of an ICBM.

The test will help the U.S. "to stay ahead of the evolving threat", said MDA Director Lieutenant General Sam Greaves in a statement, without elaborating. A North Korean news outlet called Friday's launch a "grave warning" to the U.S.

It comes after North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 6,500 miles on Friday night - far enough to reach major United States cities.

It was sacked by an Air Force Plane and intercepted by the defense system.

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Hours later, the USA then flew two B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force after the North Korean missile tests, the Air Force said in a statement on Sunday.

The "Flight Experiment THAAD" test was aimed at gathering "threat data from a THAAD interceptor in flight", according to the U.S. military.

The test was also aimed at confirming the maximum range and other technical aspects of the missile it says was capable of delivering a 'large-sized, heavy nuclear warhead'.

North Korea said the "whole USA mainland is within reach".

U.S. President Donald Trump criticized China and his predecessors Saturday night on Twitter.

The new leader of South Korea, Moon Jae-In, suspended the program's deployment in June, saying a new evaluation of its environmental impact should be conducted.

The mission of the Missile Defense Agency is to develop and deploy a layered ballistic missile defense system to defend the United States, its deployed forces, allies and friends from ballistic missile attacks of all ranges in all phases of flight, the release said.

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