The US military has said its controversial Thaad missile defence system successfully shot down a target during a test over the Pacific Ocean.
Thaad, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, halted a simulated, ballistic intermediate-range missile like the ones being developed by North Korea.
The test was planned months ago, but comes amid rising tension with North Korea over its weapons programme.
Pyongyang claimed it has tested a series of missiles in recent weeks.
On 4 July, Pyongyang said it had carried out its first successful test of an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM). It said the Hwasong-14 could hit “any part of the world”, but the US military described it as an intermediate-range missile.
North Korea has repeatedly defied a UN resolution banning all nuclear and missile activity, and has ramped up the pace of its tests in recent months.
“The successful demonstration of Thaad against an IRBM-range missile threat bolsters the country’s defensive capability against developing missile threats in North Korea and other countries,” the US Missile Defense Agency said in a statement on Tuesday.