Washington DC – The US military feels confident of defending itself from North Korean missile threats, at least for now. This is after North Korea launched a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Hwasong-15, which is claimed to be able to reach US territory.
As quoted by twitterk.com, Thursday (30/11/2017), a US official who declined to be named said America did not change his judgment that his missile defense system able to stop North Korea missile attacks. Although the guarantee can not be ascertained for the future.
“I do not think they will be able to successfully succeed the US for now,” the US official said.
“There is a common logic that we can stop whatever North Korea has right now.For the future, I do not know,” he added.
The United States spent countless hours and billions of dollars to develop sophisticated technology capable of stopping ballistic missiles coming near its territory. The US Congress passed an additional budget of several billion dollars to develop that capability.
To protect themselves from an ICBM, the US military has a system called Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD), designed specifically for firing interceptor missiles that will use kinetic energy to destroy nearby targets (missiles).
The US now has 44 interceptor missiles stationed at Fort Greely Military Base in Alaska and Vandenberg Air Base in California. The interceptor missiles were tested in May and the US military successfully launched a GMD interceptor missile from the California base. The interceptor missiles sped out of Earth’s atmosphere and then hit an artificial ICBM target, destroying it in a direct collision.
But it is also recognized that GMD systems have a poor record in previous trials, precisely when failing to intercept slower targets. Nevertheless, this US official called GMD system is able to protect the entire US territory.
GMD is said to be able to stop a series of missiles at once from a dangerous country like North Korea, but is believed to be overwhelmed to ward off massive missile attacks from major nuclear countries like Russia.
On Wednesday (29/11) early morning, North Korea launched a new type of ICBM missile, Hwasong-15. North Korea claims the Hwasong-15 missile is capable of carrying large super-warheads and reaching any target within the mainland US.
In a separate statement, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called the latest North Korean missiles capable of airing much higher than any other missiles ever launched. Mattis warned that the North in the near future will be able to threaten all areas of the world.