Mr. Bush alluded at some length, though in general terms, to the Pentagon’s emerging missile-defense system. “It’s hard for me to give you a probability of success,” he said when asked if the United States could have intercepted the long-range missile if it had been bound for America instead of splashing down in the Sea of Japan. Then Mr. Bush went on to say there would have been a reasonable chance of picking it off, or “at least that’s what the military commander told me.” The president did not specify what commander he was referring to, nor was he asked.
And to add:
The United States has small batteries of missiles in Alaska and California ready to be used as interceptors, although they have not yet been tested.”
From the NY Times.