- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 31, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the U.S. military test involving an interceptor and a mock warhead (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

A U.S. interceptor has scored a direct hit and appears to have resulted in the “complete obliteration” of a mock warhead over the Pacific Ocean.

That’s the word from the Pentagon - which says the realistic test mirrored the missile threat from North Korea and Iran.

Jim Syring is the vice admiral who directs the Defense Department’s Missile Defense Agency. He tells reporters that the test included decoys and replicated a very specific scenario in the Pacific.

Tuesday’s test was a critical milestone for a program that has been hampered by setbacks over the years, he said.

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3:30 a.m.

The Pentagon’s oft-criticized missile defense program has scored a triumph.

It’s destroyed a mock warhead over the Pacific Ocean with an interceptor seen as vital to protecting U.S. territory from a possible North Korean attack.

Jim Syring is the vice admiral who directs the Pentagon agency in charge of developing the missile defense system.

He says Tuesday’s test result has proved to be “an incredible accomplishment” and a milestone for a program hampered by setbacks over the years.

The $244 million test didn’t confirm that under wartime conditions the U.S. could intercept an intercontinental-range missile fired by North Korea.

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