US successfully launches Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile from California Air Force base just days after North Korea completed another test of its own

Wednesday, August 2, 2017
By Paul Martin

Minuteman III missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
Nuclear-capable weapon was successfully fired at 2.10am local time Wednesday
It comes after North Korea carried out a second successful test of its own ICBM
Experts believe Kim Jong-un’s regime is now capable of ranging most of the United States, but may lack technology to bring warhead back down

2 August 2017

The US Air Force has successfully launched an intercontinental ballistic missile just days after North Korea tested its latest rocket which could potentially hit NYC.

An unarmed Minuteman III missile was fired from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base at 2.10am local time on Wednesday.

The Air Force Global Strike Command said a single re-entry vehicle traveled roughly 4,200 miles across the Pacific Ocean where it struck a target in the Kwajalein Atoll.

‘These test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a continued safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent,’ an Air Force statement said.

Military chiefs said the launch had been ‘long-planned’ and was not directly in response to North Korea’s rapidly accelerating nuclear program.

The missile, which weighs almost 80,000 pounds and has a range of 6,000 miles, is ‘an element of the nation’s strategic deterrent forces’, reports state.

The launch, which is the fourth of its kind this year, comes just days after North Korea conducted another ballistic missile test on Friday – the second in a month.

The two-stage Hwasong-14 missile traveled 2,300 miles into space before coming back down off the coast of Japan’s northern-most island, Hokkaido.

US and South Korean experts have analysed Japanese footage capturing the rocket’s re-entry vehicle shortly before it crashed into the sea.

They said the video suggests it failed to survive the extreme heat and pressure after re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere following its launch.

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