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US to Launch New THAAD Missile Defense Test to Counter North Korean Threat

© REUTERS / U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency/Handout A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency
A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency - Sputnik International
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According to a warning notice from the US Coast Guard for mariners who intend to traverse the thousands of miles between Kodiak Island, Alaska, and the Hawaiian islands next weekend, a live-fire THAAD missile test has been scheduled by the US military.

As soon as next weekend, according to the Coast Guard, the US will conduct a live-fire test of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system from the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska on Alaska's Kodiak Island.

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The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), in a test that "validated THAAD's ability to intercept intermediate range ballistic missiles," successfully conducted a live fire launch on Kodiak Island earlier this month, according to Chris Johnson, MDA public affairs director, cited by ABCNews.

The previous test saw the launch of "two interceptors from two co-located launchers," according to Johnson, cited by the Kodiak Daily Mirror.

"The first missile engaged the target. The second interceptor was launched to test operational procedures," the public relations director added.

The upcoming live fire missile launch is intended to test THAAD's ability to intercept a medium-range ballistic missile — similar to the Hwasong-14 launched by North Korea last month — within the earth's atmosphere, according to another MAD spokesperson, cited by ABCNews.

THAAD, which requires a direct hit on an incoming enemy missile to be effective, boasts a 100 percent success rate in 14 live fire launches, according to the MDA.

The anti-missile system boasts cutting-edge radar technology considered to be a deep-spying threat, particularly within those areas of Russia and China covered by the THAAD system installed by the US in South Korea as a threat-deterrent to Pyongyang military posturing.

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