United States plans to carry THAAD missile defences as North Korea tensions mount

Vastavam web:  The United States plans to carry out a new test of its THAAD missile defence system against an intermediate-range ballistic missile in the coming days, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday, as tensions with North Korea climb.Despite being planned months ago, the U.S. missile defence test will gain significance in the wake of North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 4 that has heightened concerns about the threat from Pyongyang.The United States has THAAD interceptors in Guam that are meant to help guard against a missile attack from a country such as North Korea.

The officials who disclosed to Reuters the precise nature and timing of the upcoming test spoke on condition of anonymity.Asked by Reuters, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) confirmed that it aimed to carry out a THAAD flight test “in early July.””The test is designated as Flight Test THAAD (FTT)-18,” Johnson said. He did not elaborate.Still, in recent testimony to Congress, Vice Admiral James Syring, then the director of the Missile Defense Agency, said FTT-18 would aim to demonstrate THAAD’s ability to intercept a separating IRBM target.