The U.S. Navy successfully shot down a medium-range ballistic missile off the coast of Hawaii as part of a test of defense systems Wednesday, following the most recent North Korea ballistic missile test, officials said.
A navy statement said sailors aboard a U.S. vessel "successfully conducted a complex defense flight test.”
The director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency Lieutenant General Sam Greaves said, “We will continue developing ballistic missile defense technologies to stay ahead of the threat as it evolves.”
Tuesday, North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan. It was the most recent in a series of missiles launched from North Korea toward Japan, with most missiles falling in the Sea of Japan.
U.S. President Donald Trump responded to the missile launch by saying again that “all options are on the table” when dealing with the North Korea threat.
"The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear, this regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standard of acceptable international behavior," Trump said in a statement. "Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world.”
The U.S. and South Korea have been conducting war games in recent days, as rhetoric between North Korea and the United States has heated up.
North Korea acknowledged the missile launch Wednesday, saying it was to counter the joint exercises.
The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted leader Kim Jong Un saying the drill for the launch of the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile was “like a real war” and the first step by North Korea's military for operations in the Pacific and “a meaningful prelude to containing Guam."