The Pentagon will make an attempt to bring down an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile for the first time in a test due to be conducted next week. This comes on the growing threat from North Korea. The aim is to closely simulate an ICBM from North Korea targeted at the US mainland, according to US officials on Friday.

The American missile interceptor has achieved a track record of succeeding in nine of its 17 attempts since 1999. The latest test conducted in June 2014 was successful, but there were three consecutive failures after the first successful test.

The missile interceptor has evolved from multi-billion dollar design built during the era of President Ronald Reagan’s 1983 quest for a Star Wars.

North Korea's threat

North Korean leader Kim Jung Un has vowed to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US mainland. Pyongyang is now the target of US missile improvement. Though it has yet to test an ICBM, US officials believe the North is speeding up effort in that direction.

The Pentagon has a stockpile of missile defense systems, but the latest designed with potential Pyongyang Intercontinental ballistic missile in focus is possibly the most sophisticated and advanced challenge to North Korea nuclear program. Experts say it is highly reliable.

The main idea of the defensive missile is to launch a rocket into space in preparation to counter hostile missile attacks. The rocket applies internal guidance network to steer into the area of the approaching nuclear warhead by destroying it with impact force. The defense system is officially called the Ground-based Midcourse Defense System, the Pentagon said.

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The ICBM interceptor

The US Missile Defense Agency, which develops and test runs the system, has concluded arrangement to conduct the intercept test on Tuesday.

The interceptor is billed to be launched from an underground at an Air Force Base in California. It will be launched from a range on Kwajalein Atoll in the US Pacific region.

Aim of the test

The main target of the test will be a model missile built to simulate an intercontinental ballistic missile. It is expected to fly faster and higher than missiles used before to conduct intercept tests, according to a statement by Christopher Johnson.

In statement issued by the Missile Defense Agency, the main target is not a preparation for an actual ICBM from Pyongyang. Complex test scenarios are conducted as the system becomes mature, the statement added.