The Air Force reported that the United States successfully tested a long-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile on Tuesday after twice delaying the launch to prevent escalating tensions over Taiwan and the Ukraine.
Just after midnight local time, the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile was launched over the Pacific by the Air Force Global Strike Command from the Californian Vandenberg Space Force Base.
The missile carried a test re-entry vehicle that may have been equipped with a nuclear warhead in a strategic battle.
The Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the western Pacific was reached by the reentry vehicle after travelling nearly 4,200 miles (6,760 kilometres) there.
The Air Force issued a statement stating that “this test launch is part of routine and periodic activities intended to demonstrate that the United States’ nuclear deterrent is safe, secure, reliable, and effective.”
This test is unrelated to recent global events and has already taken place more than 300 times.
The test was postponed from its initial March date in order to reduce tensions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
As military tensions rose amid China’s test launches of numerous ballistic missiles and live-fire drills in response to the visit of the top US politician, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan, it was postponed a second time at the beginning of August.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby at the time provided an explanation for the postponement by stating that “China is engaging in destabilising military exercises around Taiwan, while the United States is instead demonstrating the behaviour of a responsible nuclear power by reducing the risks of miscalculation and misperception.”