Quick Note: U.S. Sends Interceptors to Guam to Shoot Down North Korean Nukes
April 3, 2013 5:24 PM
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Pentagon says interceptor deployment is "just in case" type rollout
In recent months an increasingly bellicose North Korea has defiantly
tested intercontinental ballistic missiles
blew up trial nuclear warheads
scrapped a sixty-year-old armistice
with the U.S. and its southern neighbor, and -- most recently --
restarted a mothballed nuclear reactor
used in production of material for nuclear weapons.
As the threats from North Korea increase, the U.S. has
a truck-based, radar-driven interceptor missile system to Guam. According to the
U.S. Department of Defense
, the system will protect the island territory of the U.S. if North Korea attempts to
attack it with a ballistic missile, as threatened
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System
(THAADS) fires on a target rocket when it's in its terminal descent phase, plunging towards the defended territory.
The THAADS system is produced by top defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. (
The U.S. has deployed the THAADS interceptor trucks to Guam.
[Image Source: Lockheed Martin]
While U.S. defense experts doubt North Korea would be able to hit the U.S. mainland with a nuclear missile, Guam -- 2,000 away from the hostile Asian dictatorship -- might be a slightly more feasible target. Both South Korea and Japan have
extensive interceptor systems
, which are likely on high alert.
U.S. ally Israel provided the most impressive real-world demonstration of a missile-interception system to date. Its
"Iron Dome" system
shot down approximately 9 out of 10 missiles that were headed towards a populated region. Past interceptor systems used in the Persian Gulf conflicts by the U.S. had
lower success rates
Ballistic missile interception is a more unproven art. Ballistic missiles are bigger (and hence a bigger target), but are also generally faster than the kind of small rockets Iron Dome or Patriot-missile (U.S.) interceptor systems target. Israel has an interceptor system of its own
, which the U.S. co-founded and shares technology from. Fortunately, that system has never been called upon in a real war scenario.
U.S. Department of Defense
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
4/5/2013 8:03:41 PM
I'm surprised this hasn't happened for any of NK's previous missile launches. I was thinking why not fly the airborne laser out there to test it out covertly? I wonder if their missile just exploded mid-flight, if NK would know why? I'm assuming the laser itself is invisible. This would be a riot, to watch NK scratch their heads.
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