OFF TARGET: US Missile DEFENSE FAILS Over Hawaii

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A US military missile intercept test failed in Hawaii on Wednesday, potentially having implications for Japan as it moves forward with plans to introduce the costly Aegis Ashore system on its soil.

A secret United States military test to shoot down an incoming missile has failed, according to reports, raising concerns about the threat posed by North Korea.

The missile, which is being developed by weapons manufacturer Raytheon, is used to target intermediate range missiles.

A USA official that spoke on condition of anonymity, said test data is being looked at to find out why that interceptor missed its mark.

The warning-system worker who issued the false ballistic missile alert in Hawaii on January 13 has been fired and the top two civilian officials of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency have resigned in a personnel shakeup stemming from the alert that stirred mass hysteria across the state, the agency's military director said on Tuesday.

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US Missile Defense Agency spokesman Mark Wright confirmed that a test occurred but declined to comment on its outcome. The system "demonstrated the capability to defend the US homeland from a small number" of ICBMs launched "with simple countermeasures when the" USA employs "its full sensors/command and control architecture", Robert Behler said in a report to top Pentagon officials.

Officials reportedly told CNN that the Defense Department is staying mum "due, in part, to sensitivities surrounding North Korea's participation in the upcoming Olympic Games and continuing tensions with leader Kim Jong-un".

The secretive state, led by Kim Jong-un, have vowed to strike at the USA if they feel under threat.

The rocket, produced by Raytheon, is created to intercept ballistic missiles. "It is a very expensive system and it would undesirable for the credibility of the missile to be hurt", the source said.

Defense sources tell NBC and the New York Times that the latest test of the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor missile, created to knock out incoming missiles, was a flop.

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