The United States military conducted a test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system early Sunday morning, successfully intercepting a ballistic missile launched over the Pacific Ocean using the THAAD system in Alaska.
The test will help the U.S. "stay ahead of the evolving threat," said Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. It comes two days after North Korea tested its second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), demonstrating a weapon U.S. analysts say could reach parts of the American mainland.
Also on Sunday, the U.S. flew two supersonic B-1B bombers over the Korean Peninsula accompanied by South Korean and Japanese fighter jets. "North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability," said Pacific Air Forces commander General Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy. "If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing."