The Pentagon test-fired on Tuesday from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California a missile that shot down a long-distance warhead. The test showed that the missile achieved its aim of striking down a simulated incoming intercontinental missile.

The test missile struck another missile fired from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific, New York Daily News reported. The test occurred a day after North Korea warned the U.S. that it would be sending a sinister gift package. On Monday, Pyongyang successfully tested the KN-06, a surface-to-air missile based on Chinese and Russian systems.

Deterrent against very real threat

The test, which cost $244 million, is very important to America's defense. It also shows that the U.S. military has the capacity to defend against a very real threat. The very real threat comes from North Korea -- a country that continues to test its own capabilities.

Since January, Pyongyang has conducted nine tests and launched 12 missiles. The last test on Monday, the third in so many days, landed in the Sea of Japan. Kim Jong-un, leader of the communist nation who showed delight in photo releases capturing the missile launches, said it would be a bigger leap forward for North Korea if the country could send a “bigger gift package to the Yankees,” The New York Post reported.

After North Korea fired the test-missile, Japan and South Korea condemned the tests, Russia favored a diplomatic solution rather than for the U.S. to initiate military action against the North Korean dictator and his country.

U.S. kill vehicle does not use explosives

Vice Admiral James D. Syring explained that the system the Pentagon used works on ICBMs.

It released a kill vehicle about five feet long that stops the interceptor missile. The system does not use explosives but can destroy the missile warhead of the enemy by using sheer force outside the atmosphere of the Earth.

In the past, the Defense Department had conducted missile defense tests against threats that were shorter-range, but it was successful only half of the time.

The department ordered the unprecedented test in response to heightened nuclear war threats from Pyongyang.

Although the missile tested the ability to stop a missile attack from North Korea, the Pentagon said it also tested the readiness of the United States to counter threats from other countries, not just from North Korea and Kim Jong-un.