New Delhi, Aug 30: A day after North Korea fired ballistic missiles into the East Sea over Japan, the United States conducted a successful missile defence test off the coast of Hawaii.
The missile defence drill was conducted from the Arleigh Burke-class USS John Paul Jones, said the statement issue by US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) on Wednesday.
Using Standard Missile-6 guided missiles, the USS John Paul Jones intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target, the MDA claimed.
Although the test comes in the backdrop of Pyongyang’s provocative ballistic missile test over Japan, the MDA claims it was planned way before in advance.
The successful interception of missile targets during the defence test would boost the naval component of the Arleigh Burke-class defence systems during the terminal phase, the MDA added.
US’ close ally Japan is seeking the supply of Arleigh Burke-class anti-missile defence systems towards its southern coast to remain prepared for tackling the missile threat from North Korea.
According to reports, the missile defence system would be supplied to Tokyo by 2023.
North Korea warns ‘more missile tests in near future’
The Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missile that Pyongyang unleashed yesterday represented a major escalation of tensions over its weapons programmes.
In recent weeks it has threatened to send a salvo of missiles towards the US territory of Guam, while President Donald Trump has warned of raining “fire and fury” on the North.
After the latest launch Trump said that “all options” were on the table, reviving his implied threat of pre-emptive US military action just days after congratulating himself that Kim appeared to be “starting to respect us”.
The UN Security Council – which has already imposed seven sets of sanctions on Pyongyang – said in a unanimous statement the North’s “outrageous” actions “are not just a threat to the region, but to all UN member states”.
Both the North’s key ally China and Russia, which also has ties to it, backed the US-drafted declaration, but it will not immediately lead to new or tightened sanctions.
The Rodong Sinmun newspaper, mouthpiece of the North’s ruling party, today carried more than 20 pictures of the launch near Pyongyang. One showed Kim smiling broadly at a desk with a map of the Northwest Pacific, surrounded by aides.
(With inputs from PTI)