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Japan intercepts missile in milestone test
uusjio | December 19, 2007 at 01:18 amby
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The $55 million test was a "major milestone" in growing U.S.-Japanese cooperation, said Rear Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Lt. General Henry Obering, head of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency.
U.S.-Japanese missile-defense ties have grown greatly since North Korea fired a three-stage Taepo Dong 1 missile over Japan on Aug. 31, 1998.
The interceptor was fired by JS Kongo, the first of four Japanese destroyers due to be outfitted to counter missiles that could carry chemical, biological or nuclear warheads.
By intercepting a missile similar in speed and size to those in North Korea's arsenal, "Japan has proven its capability to defend and protect their country from North Korean missiles," said Riki Ellison, a prominent missile-defense advocate who monitored the test.