U.S. carries out missile test delayed over Chinese drills


An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is launched during an operational test at 2:10 am Pacific Daylight Time at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, US, Aug. 2, 2017. US Air Force/Senior Airman Ian Dudley/Handout via REUTERS/ File Photo

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (Reuters) – The U.S. military said Tuesday it was testing a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile that had been delayed to avoid escalating tensions with Beijing during China’s display of power near Taiwan earlier this month.

China deployed dozens of planes and fired sharp-edged missiles into the Taiwan Strait after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a trip to the self-governed island. China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control.

The test demonstrated “the readiness of the US nuclear forces and instills confidence in the lethality and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear deterrent,” according to a US military statement.

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The reentry vehicle traveled approximately 4,200 miles (6,760 km) and was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The military said about 300 such tests have been conducted previously and that they were not the result of any specific global event.

The test suggests that at least in the short term, Washington is less concerned about the escalation around Taiwan.

The administration of President Joe Biden has said it will continue to conduct routine air and naval operations in the Taiwan Strait in the coming weeks.

The Chinese military said it conducted more exercises near Taiwan on Monday when a group of US lawmakers visited the island claimed by China and met President Tsai Ing-wen, who said her government is committed to maintaining stability.

The US military also canceled a test of its Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile in April. That delay was intended to ease nuclear tensions with Russia during the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The nuclear-capable Minuteman III, made by Boeing Co. (BA.N), is key to the US military’s strategic arsenal. The rocket has a range of more than 6,000 miles (9,660 km) and can travel at a speed of approximately 15,000 miles per hour (24,000 km/h).

Missiles are dispersed in paved underground silos operated by launch crews.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in February that his country’s nuclear forces must be placed on high alert, raising fears that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could lead to nuclear war. But US officials have said they have so far seen no reason to change Washington’s nuclear alert levels.

Russia and the United States have by far the largest arsenal of post-Cold War warheads that divided the world for much of the 20th century, pitting the West against the Soviet Union and its allies.

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Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Peter Graff

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Idrees Ali

Thomson Reuters

National security correspondent focused on the Pentagon in Washington DC Reports on US military activities and operations around the world and the impact they have. Has reported from more than two dozen countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan and much of the Middle East, Asia and Europe. From Karachi, Pakistan.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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