ICBM Launch: Is North Korea Preparing to Test the Ultimate Weapon?

Graphic shows details of U.S. missile launch targeting an ICBM 2c x 4 inches 96.3 mm x 101

The Pentagon on Tuesday announced it had successfully conducted its first live-fire test against a simulated intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the us mainland.

In a critical exercise over the Pacific Ocean yesterday, the U.S. Military successfully intercepted a mock ballistic missile similar to the ones North Korea has been testing or attempting to test.

As Military.com points out, the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the nation's ballistic missile defense system has failed eight of the system's previous 17 tests.

After the United States military successfully tested a new type of anti-missile rocket Tuesday, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un remained defiant, issuing another in his series of grave warnings to the USA of his intentions to use nuclear weapons.

The test, conducted over the Pacific Ocean, was the first live-fire test event against an ICBM-class target for GMD and the US ballistic missile defense system.

Vice Admiral Jim Syring, director of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, hailed the test as an "incredible accomplishment" in a statement.

The United States of America on 30 May 2017 successfully conducted the first-ever test of its defence system against an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Prior to Tuesday, the USA military had conducted 17 tests of its missile-defense system and nine were successful.

The operation came two days after North Korea's latest missile test, the ninth this year and the third since South Korean President Moon Jae-in's inauguration.

Syring, however, said that the test was based on intelligence projections of where the missile threat to the United States would be in 2020.

The test involved a threat representative intercontinental ballistic missile class target to be fired from the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the Marshall Islands and a ground-based interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

"This test clearly demonstrates to our adversaries that our homeland missile defense system remains on track to defend our country".

Riki Ellison, founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, described the test as "vital" prior to launch.

The concept of an anti-missile missile has been described as analogous to trying to hit a bullet with another bullet at high speed.

Still, there were no guarantees that Tuesday's test would be successful and any failure of the GMD could deepen concerns about a program that according to one estimate has already cost more than $40 billion to develop.

The test comes amid heightened tensions in the Pacific region, as North Korea continues to conducts its own less impressive missile tests.

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