Test missile launched from California coast

Test missile launched from California coast

The U.S. Air Force conducted a scheduled test of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) early Wednesday morning in California.

"The test demonstrates that the United States' nuclear enterprise is safe, secure, effective and ready to be able to deter, detect and defend against attacks on the United States and its allies", read a statement from Air Force Global Strike Command.

The latest USA launches come amid growing tensions with North Korea, as the Asian nation develops its own ICBM.

In "direct response" to North Korea, the US flew two supersonic B-1 bombers with their Japanese and South Korean allies in the North Korean peninsula on Saturday.

On Friday, North Korea launched a missile that is believed to be capable of reaching the US, making it their second missile launch in less than a month.

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North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hwasong-14 is pictured during its second test-fire in this undated picture provided by KCNA in Pyongyang, North Korea, on July 29, 2017. The most recent was in May.

Minuteman missiles are regularly tested with launches from Vandenberg that send unarmed re-entry vehicles to a target area in the middle of the Pacific. The US also said it conducted a successful test of a missile defence system located in Alaska.

The Air Force statement pointed out that the 576th Flight Squadron will be responsible for tracking and commanding the destruct systems on the missile.

Previous Minuteman ICBM launches this year were conducted in February, April and May.

The ICBM arced into the night sky from Vandenberg Air Force Base in southern California and traveled approximately 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

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