It is in the northern state of Alaska that Washington has planned to conduct a test of its anti-ballistic missile shield, in the context of intense tensions between South Korea and the United States.
The US Department of Defense announced on 8 July that it expects to test its anti-missile shield in Alaska soon, amidst severe tensions with North Korea, which has just succeeded in its first intercontinental missile capable, according to Washington, of Strike the United States.
The Thaad Shield (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) is designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles of short, medium and intermediate range.
The US missile defense agency (MDA) said the test would be conducted at Kodiak, Alaska, “early July,” without giving further details. “[Shield] will detect, track down, and target a target with a [missile] Thaad interceptor,” the MDA said in a statement.
— RT France (@RTenfrancais) July 6, 2017Loading...
Although this type of test is still planned several months upstream, this announcement takes a special resonance after the first successful shot by North Korea on July 4 of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching American soil, Including Alaska, according to the Pentagon.
However, the Thaad is not designed to intercept an intercontinental ballistic missile. The US Army has a GMD (Ground-based Defense Midcourse) system based in Alaska and California.
The United States began deploying the Thaad shield this year in South Korea, prompting anger from China, which demanded its immediate suspension in May and said it was hampering its own deterrent.
Thaad missile batteries are also installed in Guam and Hawaii with the objective of intercepting a possible intermediate-range missile launched by North Korea.
Moscow opposes escalating tensions in the Korean Peninsula
While Washington has been raising the tone for several weeks with respect to Pyongyang, Moscow has repeatedly warned against escalating tensions. On July 7, Vladimir Putin called for “keeping his cool” in the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue, during a meeting with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-In on the sidelines of the G20 summit In Hamburg, Germany.
— RT France (@RTenfrancais) July 6, 2017
The day before, Russia had blocked an UN draft declaration calling for “significant measures” against North Korea, including ensuring that the missile fired on July 4 by Pyongyang was medium range and Not intercontinental.