The Pentagon will test for the first time its ability to shoot an intercontinental ballistic missile by using its own long-range interceptor missile, a test aimed at countering the possible launch of North Korean missiles.
The test, which will take place over the Pacific Ocean, comes just two days after Pyongyang fired a short-range ballistic missile that traveled about 280 miles before falling into Japan’s economic zone in the Japanese Sea .
In a tweet posted Monday, President Donald Trump joined the leaders of South Korea and Japan by condemning the North Korean test. North Korea had “shown a great lack of respect” for China by “firing yet another ballistic missile,” he said.
The test will involve the launch of an intercontinental type missile from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific. This target missile will have to be stopped by an interceptor missile fired from the Vandenberg base of the US Air Force in California.
The test is designed to measure the effectiveness of the Alaska-California intercontinental missile defense system.
The last test in 2014 was successful while the previous three had failed.
The Pentagon insists that the long-term test of its terrestrial interceptor system not only concerns North Korea, but aims to challenge any intercontinental ballistic missile.
North Korea is now multiplying tests to achieve an intercontinental nuclear missile capable of striking the United States.