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US missile defense test triggers alarm in Russia, China as North Korea issues new warnings


Success with U. S. missile defense is triggering alarm bells in Russia and China as North Korea warns an ICBM test-fire is imminent.
The Pentagon’s successful interceptor missile defense test this week is seen as a step toward reducing the nuclear risk from North Korea, but now China and Russia are seeing the U. S. technology as a threat.
Regardless, North Korean state newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Thursday that its military was “ready to conduct an ICBM test-fire at any time.”
During Tuesday’s test, the U. S. military intercepted a mock intercontinental ballistic missile target fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California during a test of its Ground-based Midcourse Defense, or GMD, system.
Besides California, the U. S. also has the GMD system deployed at Fort Greely in Alaska. The interceptor test took place a day after the North Korean regime fired its ninth ballistic missile test this year.
Tuesday was only the 10th successful test out of 17 conducted since 1999. This week’s test also was the first live-fire test against a simulated ICBM target.
The test is seen as a sign the U. S. military is making progress to combat the mainland U. S. threat from North Korea. Still, the use of numerous decoy missiles or countermeasures by an enemy could overwhelm or confuse the interceptor system and render it useless.
Russia and China already have developed countermeasures to increase the chance of a missile reaching a target. And the North Koreans also are believed to be developing similar capabilities, which creates additional national security concerns given Pyongyang’s rapid advances in its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency on Friday quoted a military spokesman for the hermit state as saying the U. S. is “sadly mistaken if they think such missile interception system can prevent the shower of [a] nuclear strike.”
“There are many different ways that a missile can trick an interceptor, ” said Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, a think-tank based in Washington founded by former President Richard Nixon.
There’s an expectation that U. S. adversaries will intensify efforts to counter the GMD and other missile defense technology. Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted as much Thursday
“This destroys the strategic balance in the world, ” Reuters quoted Putin as saying in remarks at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Added the Russian leader: “What is happening is a very serious and alarming process. In Alaska, and now in South Korea, elements of the anti-missile defense system are emerging. Should we just stand idly by and watch this? Of course not. We are thinking about how to respond to these challenges. This is a challenge for us.”
At the same time, China’s semiofficial Global Times said this week that the interceptor test is proof the U. S. may be preparing for military action against North Korea and also that the technology “breaks strategic balance among nuke-armed countries.

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