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A man and a child watch as the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the U.S. ballistic missile defense system launches during a flight test from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, U.S., May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military said on Tuesday it had staged a successful, first-ever missile defence test involving a simulated attack by an intercontinental ballistic missile, as concerns mount over North Korea's advancing missile and nuclear programme.

"The intercept of a complex, threat-representative ICBM target is an incredible accomplishment ... a critical milestone for this programme," Vice Admiral Jim Syring, the director of the Missile Defense Agency, said in a statement.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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