Lee Jin-man / AP

The U.S. said Tuesday it successfully shot down a test intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), which is similar to ones North Korea is developing, using the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD), per Reuters. The test was launched north of Hawaii and hit the test missile over the Pacific Ocean.

What it means: Since THAAD is deployed to South Korea and Guam to protect against the short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missiles, this "should be reassuring to US military forces in Korea who would be defended by THAAD, but also to the 10 million or so South Koreans who THAAD could also defend," Senior International Defense Researcher at the RAND Corporation Bruce Bennett told Axios. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency said this test "bolsters the country's defensive capability" against North Korean threats.

Two big caveats:

  1. Bennett warned current THAAD deployment of only two launchers "would not be sufficient to protect all areas of southern Korea," likely leaving some cities without missile defense.
  2. This test is not expected to shoot down an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Editor of The Nonproliferation Review Joshua Pollack confirmed to Axios.

Go deeper

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 31,245,797 — Total deaths: 963,693— Total recoveries: 21,394,593Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 6,856,884 — Total deaths: 199,865 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Texas and Louisiana face fresh flood threat from Tropical Storm Beta

Tropical Storm Beta slowly approaching the Texas coast on Monday. Photo: National Weather Service/Twitter

Tropical Storm Beta crossed the Texas coast near the southern end of the Matagorda Peninsula late Monday, the National Hurricane Center said, bringing with it the risk of "life-threatening storm surge" and flooding to parts of Texas and Louisiana.

What's happening: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) made a disaster declaration and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency, as the states began feeling the impact of the slow-moving storm — which was causing coastal flooding along the bays near Houston and Galveston in Texas, and the Gulf of Mexico Monday, per the National Weather Service.

Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

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