US plans test of defense system to shoot down an ICBM

The Pentagon is planning its first test of a system for shooting down an intercontinental-range missile.

Officials say the goal is to more closely simulate a North Korean ICBM aimed at the U.S.

The American interceptor has a spotty track record, succeeding in nine of 17 attempts against missiles of less-than-intercontinental range since 1999.

The most recent test, in June 2014, was a success, but that followed three straight failures.

The system has evolved from the multibillion-dollar effort triggered by President Ronald Reagan's 1983 push for a solution to ballistic missile threats. That was during the Cold War when the Soviet Union was the only major worry.

North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, has vowed to field a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching American territory.