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U.S. shoots down mock warhead over Pacific

(NBC NEWS) — WASHINGTON — The Pentagon successfully tested a U.S. long-range interceptor missile over the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday in an exercise aimed at helping gauge American readiness to counter any potential similar threat from North Korea.

During Tuesday’s scheduled test, the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency launched an interceptor rocket from an underground silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The interceptor directly collided with and destroyed an intercontinental-range missile fired from a test range on Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific, the Pentagon announced.

U.S. Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. Jim Syring called the test a “critical milestone” in a statement.

“This system is vitally important to the defense of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat. I am incredibly proud of the warfighters who executed this test and who operate this system every day,” Syring added.

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