Reuters Photo:(right) A missile is launched from the Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70), during a a test to intercept a separating ballistic missile target November 17, 2005. The United States has moved its ground-based interceptor missile defense system from test mode to operational amid concerns over an expected North Korean missile launch, a U.S. defense official said on Tuesday. (U.S. Navy Photo/Handout/Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has moved its ground-based interceptor missile defense system from test mode to operational amid concerns over an expected North Korean missile launch, a U.S. defense official said on Tuesday.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed a Washington Times report that the
Pentagon has activated the system, which has been in the developmental stage for years.
"It's good to be ready," the official said. [read more]
These could be class one, two, or three range missiles. We are talking as far as Chicago, Il.
The Washington Times: Excerpt from article below.....
The U.S. missile defense system includes 11 long-range interceptor missiles, including nine deployed at Fort Greeley, Alaska, and two at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The system was switched from test to operational mode within the past two weeks, the officials said. One senior Bush administration official told The Washington Times that an option being considered would be to shoot down the Taepodong missile with responding interceptors.
North Korea is stepping up preparations to test fire a long-range missile, regional media reports say.
Workers have moved booster rockets and fuel tanks to a site in the north-east, a South Korean daily reports. [read more BBC News]
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Tags: North Korea, Missiles, Pyongyang, Missile Launch, Long-range Ballistic Missile