US Plans New THAAD Missile Defense Test Amid North Korea Tensions

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While China and North Korea have continuously opposed the deployment of THAAD, there have been concerns from South Korea as well with regards to the anti-missile system.

Russian Federation has provided evidence to the United Nations indicating that North Korea's latest missile launch on July 4th tested an intermediate range rocket, despite the US' insistence that it was an intercontinental ballistic missile.

THAAD, a ground-based missile defense system created to strike short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles, can intercept its targets inside and outside the Earth's atmosphere, according to Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor of the system. The THAAD interceptors will be fired from Alaska.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley earlier said North Korea's ICBM launch test was a "clear and sharp military escalation" and military action remained on the table.

The MDA said that the THAAD test against a ballistic missile target would be conducted at the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska. Trump had also said that North Korea will have to face consequences of the launch which is capable of striking Alaska.

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Created to shoot down short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles, each THAAD system is comprised of five major components.

This undated photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 30, 2017 shows a test-fire of a ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea.

"The test is designated as Flight Test THAAD (FTT)-18", Johnson added, but did not give further details. This year's U.S. deployment of THAAD in South Korea to guard against North Korea's shorter-range missiles has also drawn fierce criticism from China, which says the system's powerful radar can probe deep into its territory. The joint statement claimed that Washington was using North Korea as a pretext to expand its military infrastructure in Asia. China initially showed signs of promise, like halting some imports of coal from the North, but hasn't shown any notable progress since. This could make it harder and more expensive for North Korea to continue their nuclear missile tests in the future.

The question to Mr Turnbull was prompted by comments from former prime minister Kevin Rudd that Australia should consider deploying a missile defence system to defend against attack from a nuclear-armed North Korea.

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