United States conducts missile intercept test amid heightened tensions with North Korea

Lucy Bush
August 31, 2017

The USS John Paul Jones, a guided-missile destroyer successfully launched an SM-6 interceptor missile to shoot down the target.

The U.S. carried out a successful missile defense test off the Hawaiian coast on Wednesday morning in the midst of heightened tensions with North Korea, but an official said the test was in the planning for "a long time", CNN reported.

Monday's test missile was launched from Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai in Hawaii.

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Gen. Sam Greaves said the Hawai'i test gives Navy ships enhanced capability to defeat ballistic missiles in their last stage of flight. A sailor on the USS John Paul Jones triggered a self-destruct sequence by mistake.

This was the third time that the SM-6 missile successfully engaged a ballistic missile target in its terminal phase.

Last week, the House of Commons defence committee held a rare summer sitting to discuss the North Korea situation and to discuss whether Canada should consider joining the USA ballistic missile defence shield for North America. An earlier test of the same interceptor in February succeeded. The North warned that it will continue firing missiles into the Pacific Ocean, adding that the recent test was a "prelude" to possible strikes on or around Guam.

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The test, called Flight Test Standard Missile- 27 Event 2 (FTM-27 E2), demonstrated the integrated capabilities of the Aegis Weapon System and how it has continually evolved to counter advanced threats. In addition, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday dismissed any diplomatic negotiations with North Korea, saying "talking is not the answer".

The latest in a series of missile tests came as South Korea and the USA conducted war games in the region.

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.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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