US Shoots Down Medium-Range Ballistic Missile In Hawaii Test

US Shoots Down Medium-Range Ballistic Missile In Hawaii Test

The US Navy and Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have successfully shot down a ballistic missile target during a test off the Hawaiian coast, the US government said.

The Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai launched the target missile late Tuesday.

Gen. Sam Greaves said Wednesday's missile launch was a "key milestone".

"The number of countries with access to ballistic missile technology, including some with the potential to reach North America or target Canadian and allied deployed forces, has increased and is expected to grow and become more sophisticated", the policy says.

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The previous test in June involved the John Paul Jones firing SM-3 missiles at a ballistic target, and was not successful.

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 US ally that sends a clear message of defiance as Washington and Seoul conduct war games nearby.

Guided-missile destroyers such as the John Paul Jones could be used to intercept a North Korean missile from locations in the Sea of Japan and elsewhere in the Pacific.

The United States regularly tests its missile-defense systems, and this was the second time one of its Standard Missile-6 missiles successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile, the agency said.

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But yesterday's SM-6 test apparently wasn't a direct response to North Korea's most recent launch; the Hawaii operation had been planned for some time, according to The New York Times.

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.

By firing a long-range missile over Japan that landed in the northern Pacific Ocean, North Korea is showing a total disregard for its worldwide obligations, she said in a statement Tuesday.

The destroyer fired a Standard Missile-6 or SM-6 interceptor. A Standard Missile-3 Block IIA jointly developed by the USA and Japan failed to intercept its target.

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