A flight test of the exercising elements of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system is launched by the 30th Space Wing and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency at the Vandenberg AFB, California June 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Gene Blevins)
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Current U.S. missile defenses can counter an attack on U.S. territory by North Korea or Iran but Washington will have to boost its response capacity if those countries keep expanding their missile forces, a top U.S. admiral said Thursday.Admiral Bill Gortney, the officer responsible for defending U.S. air space, told a Senate panel it was "prudent" for him to assume North Korea had the ability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon and put it on an intercontinental ballistic missile that could target the United States.The U.S. missile defense system is in the process of expanding its missile interceptors to 44 from 30 by the end of 2017 .
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