USA conducts missile test off Kauai amid growing tensions with N. Korea

In addition, the USA military shot down a mediumrange ballistic missile target off the coast of Hawaii early Wednesday, in asuccessful test of a missile interception system Japan is seeking to bolster its defence against North Korea.

After North Korea launched a missile over Japan, the Hermit Kingdom threatened more launches into the Pacific.

The missile test was conducted by the US Missile Defence Agency and Navy sailors on the John Paul Jones, a guided-missile destroyer.

Those aboard the USS John Paul Jones detected and tracked the target missile using onboard radar equipment and used an interceptor missile to bring it down.

The SM-6 missile can perform anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare and - now - even more advanced ballistic missile defense at sea. Monday's intercept test, like others the USA has conducted, was long planned, the MDA said.

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"We are working closely with the fleet to develop this important new capability, and this was a key milestone", in advancing the capability to intercept missiles, said Lieutenant General Sam Greaves, the director of the Missile Defense Agency, which is part of the Defense Department.

Monday's test missile was launched from Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai in Hawaii.

'We will continue developing ballistic missile defence technologies to stay ahead of the threat as it evolved'.

Here's how six US missile tests fared in the past few months.

The "complex" test flight of the the Standard Missile-6 Block IA marked the third successful intercept for the latest variant, and it was the second involving a medium-range ballistic missile target. It's the only missile that supports anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare and sea-based terminal ballistic missile defense in one solution-and it's enabling the US and its allies to cost-effectively increase the offensive might of surface forces.

  • Sonia Alvarado