U.S. successfully tests missile interception system

American forces test THAAD system which they hope to set up on the Korean peninsula.

Ben Ariel ,

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor

American forces on Sunday successfully tested a missile interception system the U.S. hopes to set up on the Korean peninsula, military officials said, according to AFP.

In the American test of the so-called THAAD system, a medium-range missile was launched from a U.S. Air Force C-17 aircraft flying over the Pacific and a THAAD unit in Alaska "detected, tracked and intercepted the target," the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said.

It said this was the 15th successful intercept in 15 tests for the weapons system known as THAAD, which stands for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense.

South Korea said Saturday it will speed up deployment of a THAAD battery on its territory because of North Korea's latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, which came on Friday night.

Parts of the THAAD defense system were brought into South Korea under the government of ousted president Park Geun-Hye. But new leader Moon Jae-In suspended deployment of the program last month, citing the need for a new environmental impact assessment.

However, South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-Moo said Saturday that Seoul will now begin consultations on the "tentative deployment" parts of the THAAD battery in response to the latest North Korean test, according to AFP.

North Korea's test of an ICBM on Friday was its second this month, with the first one having taken place on July 4.

On Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump criticized China for failing to take action against North Korea's nuclear program, warning he would "no longer" allow China to "do nothing".

"I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk," Trump tweeted.

"We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!" he added in a second tweet.