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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — There was only room left for standing on Wednesday morning at the Von Braun Center South Hall. Attendees of the SMD Symposium were eager to hear experts speak on the threats facing the nation, and the capabilities to answer those threats.

The Director of the Missile Defense Agency, Air Force Lt. General Samuel Greaves, took the stage while the hundreds of people in the room digested the idea of North Korea’s missile tests.

General Greaves had something specific to tell the crowd. “Very, very high confidence that the currently deployed ballistic missile defense system meets today’s threat, and we’ve demonstrated that capability through testing,” General Greaves said.

The MDA has directed successful tests recently for the THAAD, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, which is deployed in Guam and South Korea. A major test was also recently conducted on the GMD, the Ground Based Mid Course Defense system deployed in the United States at multiple sites.

“These tests are not staged,” General Greaves said. “They’re not crafted for success. They stress the systems. We learn from every single test. I believe deep down in my heart the nation should be very confident that we have demonstrated the ability to defend against the range of threats that we are seeing today.”

General Greaves also said more than once that the threat never goes away, and it doesn’t stay the same. “We’re working within the Administration and with the Congress to secure the resources to keep us ahead of that threat.  I keep saying the threat has voted. The threat continues to vote and it’s our responsibility to ensure we can deploy systems to defend the nation and stay ahead of that threat,” General Greaves said.