The U.S. military successfully took out an intercontinental ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean in a test of its defense system.
The live drill was part of a planned defense test, according to U.S. officials, and didn't have anything to do with North Korea's escalation of its own missile program. The test was called a "critical milestone," since similar tests have had a roughly 50-50 success rate.
This system, called the Ground-Based Midcourse System, is different from the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, because it makes contact with incoming missile at a higher altitude. This was the first time the ground-based system was tested on an ICBM.
The Pentagon will conduct 43 more tests by the end of this year to "improve protection against North Korean and potential Iranian ICBM threats as they emerge."