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US Missile Defense System Fails Latest Test

02 February 2018

The development comes after a missile defence system in Hawaii failed to shoot down mock explosives - as it prepared for an attack from North Korea.

A missile launched from land failed to intercept an incoming target launched from an aircraft over Hawaii, according to several administration officials.

U.S. Department of Defense officials are looking over the test to find out what went wrong.

US officials confirmed the test on Wednesday but refused to comment on its success.

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An intercept test for the missile last June also failed, but there was a successful test in early 2017.

The first failure was blamed on human error after a sailor accidentally identified the target as "friendly", causing the SM-3 to self-destruct. It was, however, some routine for the missile defense system that defense experts say that it now lacks the requisite capacity to provide a defensive shield on the west coast of the United States against attacks from North Korea or any other enemy. The SM-3 IIA will have to be tested again at Kauai before that happens.

According to a United States government official from the Department of Defense, an interceptor missile missed its designated target in a test in the coast of Hawaii on Wednesday.

The sole-source contract covers continued management of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense, the US system for intercepting incoming warheads in space.

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For now, the missile is used to target intermediate-range missiles from adversaries and is a key element of USA missile defenses in the Pacific region.

In the past year, the authoritarian country has increased its missile launch tests, with some missiles flying over the territory of Japan.

Branding North Korea's leadership as "depraved", U.S. President Donald Trump told Americans on Tuesday that Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear missiles could "very soon threaten our homeland" and vowed a continued campaign of maximum pressure to keep that from happening.

The failure comes amid high tensions between the United States and North Korea.

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The State Department asked Congress to approve the $133 million (£93m) sale of the four missiles and related hardware, which can be launched from destroyers at sea or from a land-based system.

US Missile Defense System Fails Latest Test