US Plans New THAAD Missile Defense Test Amid North Korea Tensions

US Plans New THAAD Missile Defense Test Amid North Korea Tensions

The interceptor will be fired from Alaska and will take place "in the coming days", the agency reported.

The test, although planned months ago, comes after Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on 4 July that has increased concerns over the threat North Korea poses.

Chris Johnson, a spokesman for the agency, said the weapon system at the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodia would "detect, track and engage a target with a THAAD interceptor". The meeting in Hamburg has been overshadowed by North Korea's first successful launch last week of a missile capable of reaching at least part of the U.S.

The show of force came as the U.S. plans to carry out a new test of its Thaad missile defence system against an intermediate-range ballistic missile in the coming days. Since 2006, according to the MDA, THAAD has had 13 flawless flight tests.

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"Each THAAD system is comprised of five major components: interceptors, launchers, a radar, a fire control unit and support equipment, according to Lockheed Martin, the security and aerospace company that serves as the prime contractor for the equipment".

Thaad's success rate in testing is far higher than the one for America's Ground-based Midcourse Defense system (GMD), the system specifically created to shoot down an ICBM headed for the United States mainland.

Both Russia and China have opposed deployment of THAAD in South Korea. This statement from Beijing and Moscow accuses the USA of using the threat from North Korea to expand their military presence in Asia, upsetting the region's balance of power. The debate will continue as a updated defense bill hits congress very soon. Is the growing threat from North Korea enough to sway congress to continue the deployment in South Korea?

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