THAAD, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, is created to intercept short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles in their final phase of flight.
The U.S. Department of Defense said in a release the military tested the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system by launching a ballistic missile from a U.S. Air Force plane over the Pacific Ocean, tracking it from Kodiak, Alaska, and intercepting it from the ground in the state.
"A medium-range target ballistic missile (MRBM) was air-launched by a U.S. Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean", the announcement says further, adding that part of the THAAD system stationed in Alaska pinpointed and intercepted the target.
The drills involved South Korea's road-mobile ballistic missile, the Hyunmoo -2, and the US forces' Army Tactical Missile System.
"In addition to successfully intercepting the target, the data collected will allow [the Missile Defense Agency] to enhance the THAAD weapon system, our modeling and simulation capabilities, and our ability to stay ahead of the evolving threat", said the agency's director, Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves.
Following Pyongyang's missile launch, South Korea and the United States carried out a round of combined ballistic missile drills.
One expert that spoke with the U.K's Guardian newspaper said that the flight time of the missile suggested it could easily reach cities in Alaska and may be capable of hitting New York City.
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"We assess that this missile was an intercontinental ballistic missile, as had been expected", Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said in a statement.
Sunday's test was the second successful test of the THAAD anti-missile system this month.
The weapon was sacked by a U.S. Air Force plane over the Pacific Ocean and intercepted by the system located in Alaska, according to an MDA release. North Korea can use these missiles against its neighbors, specifically South Korea and Japan.
Authorities say the exercise was successful and will help the USA stay ahead of the evolving threat. "The United States will take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the American homeland and protect our allies in the region", President Donald Trump had said in a statement.
The launch comes less than a month after the North conducted its first ICBM test in defiance of years of efforts led by the United States, South Korea and Japan to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear weapons ambitions.
The new leader of South Korea, Moon Jae-In, suspended the program's deployment in June, saying a new evaluation of its environmental impact should be conducted.