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U.S. Successfully Tests Missile-Intercept System As North Korea Tensions Rise

U.S. authorities said it was the 15th successful intercept in as many tests for THAAD system. (file photo)

The United States says it successfully shot down a medium-range target ballistic missile using an interception system it hopes to set up on the Korean peninsula.

The July 30 test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system comes amid mounting tensions with North Korea, which said a day earlier that it had successfully tested a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that proved it was able to hit the U.S. mainland.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency said that in the U.S. test, an Air Force C-17 aircraft flying over the Pacific Ocean launched a medium-range missile that was detected, tracked, and intercepted by a THAAD unit in Alaska.

The agency added that it was the 15th successful intercept in as many tests for the system, parts of which were moved into South Korea under the previous government in Seoul.

The new leader of South Korea, Moon Jae-In, suspended the program's deployment in June, saying a new evaluation of its environmental impact should be conducted.

China has been angered by the THAAD deployment, calling it destabilizing for the region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, has said that deployment of THAAD elements in South Korea and Alaska "destroys the strategic balance in the world."

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters