The US Navy successfully intercepted a ballistic missile during a drill only days after North Korea fired a missile over Japan.
The USS John Paul Jones, which is based in Hawaii, tracked the projectile on radar and destroyed it with a volley of SM-6 guided missiles, according to the US Missile Defense Agency.
“We are working closely with the fleet to develop this important new capability, and this was a key milestone in giving our Aegis ships an enhanced capability to defeat ballistic missiles in their terminal phase,” said MDA Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves. “We will continue developing ballistic missile defense technologies to stay ahead of the threat as it evolves.”
The drill suggests that a Navy destroyer in the Sea of Japan could potentially knock down a North Korean missile, an increasingly likely scenario after North Korea fired a KN-17 missile over Japan on Saturday.
The missile overflew Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean, off the east coast of Hokkaido, one of Japan’s major islands.
In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered 1500 Russians near the North Korea border to evacuate as military action against North Korea becomes plausible.
“The surprise move comes after President Donald Trump warned ‘all options are on the table’ in terms of a U.S. response to the missile launch,” Newsmax reported. “Trump said North Korea has ‘signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior.’”