The missile defense system deployed in Kauai in response to North Korea worries has been tested successfully several times, but never in combat.
An unconfirmed Japanese media report said recently that Pyongyang was considering a test-fire of its Taepodong-2 ballistic missile in early July that could be within range of the Hawaiian islands. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the Pentagon is watching the situation "very closely" and is confident of being able to shoot down anything lobbed toward the US.
As a precaution, Mr. Gates has ordered a portable missile defense system called the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, or THAAD, to be redeployed on Hawaii. A sea-based sensor system known as SBX, which is designed to alert defense systems to an airstrike within seconds, is also part of the deployment.
"[W]ithout telegraphing what we will do, I would just say ... we are in a good position should it become necessary to protect American territory," Gates said Thursday.