The Pentagon will launch a long-range interceptor missile on Tuesday to test the capability of the U.S. to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to CNN.
The launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California will happen two days after North Korea fired a short-range missile that traveled an estimated 248 miles. The Pentagon, however, noted that the test had been planned for a long time and it was not a reaction to North Korea's launch, CNN's report said.
President Donald Trump and the leaders of South Korea and Japan rebuked North Korea's test, CNN reported. Trump said in a Monday tweet that North Korea had shown "great disrespect" for China.
The military's long-range ground-based interceptor missile program, based in Alaska and California, has been around for more than a decade, but the Defense Department said only half its test have been successful, according to CNN.
The interceptor test will include the first test of upgrades to its "kill" vehicle, the part of the missile that would strike an incoming warhead, CNN's report said.
Tuesday's missile test comes amid concerns over North Korea. Last Tuesday in a Senate hearing, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart said that North Korea is likely to succeed in gaining nuclear missile capability.
"While nearly impossible to predict when this capability will be operational, the North Korean regime is committed and is on a pathway where this capability is inevitable," Stewart said at the hearing, according to Reuters.
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