Kim Jong Un Readies for Nuke Test; Pentagon Tests Interceptor

As North Korea's Kim Jong Un appeared ready to push forward with a nuclear test, the Pentagon announced a successful test of a ground-based interceptor in California.

Kim reportedly hunkered down with security officials after last week's condemnation of Pyongyang's Dec. 12 ballistic missile test by the UN Security Council.

The resolution "affirms that it shall keep the DPRK’s actions under continuous review and is prepared to strengthen, modify, suspend or lift the measures as may be needed in light of the DPRK’s compliance, and, in this regard, expresses its determination

to take significant action in the event of a further DPRK launch or nuclear test."

Today, the official Korean Central News Agency paved the way for a nuclear test by claiming the U.S. is planning to strike first.

"The U.S. imperialists are planning to deploy two B-2 strategic bombers in their air force base on Guam, an island situated around the Korean Peninsula, according to a report," the KCNA said. "The bombers capable of loading nuclear bombs have been known as a means of aggression for mounting a surprise nuclear attack on the depths of the DPRK in case of contingency on the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. imperialists plan to finish the deployment of the bombers with Stealth capabilities by early next month, describing them as typical reinforcement that would carry out the duty of precision strike at the major objects of the DPRK."

Yesterday afternoon, the Defense Department said it successfully completed a flight test of a three-stage ground-based interceptor (GBI), launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

"Data from this flight test will be used to evaluate the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle system performance in a flight environment," the Pentagon said. "If a target missile were present, the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle would collide directly with the threat warhead to perform a hit-to-kill intercept."

"...A target missile launch was not planned for this flight test. After performing fly out maneuvers, the three-stage booster deployed the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle to a designated point in space."

The new testing was planned after the Flight Test Ground-Based Interceptor (FTG)-06a failure in December 2010.

The Pentagon said "initial indications are that all components performed as designed."