Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

U.S. plans to test THAAD missile defenses

Alaska Gov. Bill WalkerSource Becky Bohrer  AP Alaska Gov. Bill WalkerSource Becky Bohrer AP
Lillian Steele | 10 July, 2017, 00:58

Since the test launch, the United States, together with South Korea and Japan, conducted a series of drills, including testing missile systems and running a bombing drill in South Korea.

The US Missile Defence Agency plans to conduct a long-planned flight test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile system within the next few days, the media reported.

As per reports, the test is not linked to North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile launch, adding that the THAAD's system is created to defend against those type of threats. Though some US officials insisted North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missiles pose no credible threat to the country, government officials in Alaska have begun calling for an increased military presence as a precaution.

The THAAD is based at the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska.

Gov. Bill Walker has said North Korea's missile provocations mean there is a need to "expand armed forces" in Alaska, and to add a strategic Arctic port.

Spokesman Chris Johnson said that the nuclear shield would "detect, track and engage a target with a THAAD interceptor".

"I appreciate the things that you have done relative to the very substantial problem that we all face in North Korea, a problem that something has to be done about", he said, according to South Korean Jonhap News agency.

Asked on Friday about acquiring a missile defence system, Mr Turnbull said the Australia's focus was on protecting deployed forces in the field and that the answer to the North Korean threat was the denuclearisation of North Korea. Another consideration is South Korea's new president Moon Jae-in has been critical of THAAD's deployment on his soil as well as America's overall role in resolving the nuclear weapons conflict with Pyongyang, as I have written before. China initially showed signs of promise, like halting some imports of coal from the North, but hasn't shown any notable progress since. "The nation with, overwhelmingly, the greatest leverage over North Korea is China".

In a key development, the GMD system successfully shot down an incoming, simulated North Korean ICBM in a test in May.

India urged North Korea from refraining from such action.

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