04 August, 2017
The U.S. Air Force conducted a scheduled test of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) early Wednesday morning in California.
The Minuteman III missile went up at 2:01 am (0902 GMT) local California time Wednesday the Air Force Global Strike Command said.
"By threatening the world, these weapons and tests further isolate North Korea, weaken its economy, and deprive its people". This is the fourth such test conducted by the USA this year.
The July 28 ICBM test by North Korea was the longest flight of a ballistic missile in the country's history, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis confirmed Monday.
The Air Force states missile tests verify the accuracy and reliability of the weapons system, to ensure a safe and secure nuclear deterrent.
A US official confirmed Tuesday that a commercial airliner flew past the location where North Korea's latest ICBM would land - less than 10 minutes later - in the Sea of Japan on Friday.
According to the release, the test - of an unarmed Minuteman III equipped with a single test entry - is not meant to be a response to the recent North Korean test on Friday of a missile that appears to have the range to hit major USA cities.
In response, to North Korea's missile launch the U.S. Air Force flew two B-1 bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Sunday in a show of force.
Another test was conducted by the Air Force Global Strike Command's team on April 26.
The U.S. Air Force was preparing to test an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile with a launch from California, the fourth such test this year. That missile was also equipped with a nonexplosive payload and traveled to the Marshall Islands.
However, the latest USA launches come amid tensions with North Korea as that nation develops its own ICBMs.