As previewed last night, this morning the US Air Force confirmed that another unarmed Minuteman III ICBM missile capable of sending a nuclear bomb across the world was launched early on Wednesday from California’s Vanderberg Air Force base, in what was a second clear signal of nuclear deterrence aimed squarely at North Korea and took place one week after the US test fired another ICBM under identical circumstances.
The unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile blasted off from a silo at 12:02 a.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base and delivered a single re-entry vehicle to a target approximately 4,200 miles away at Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, the Air Force Global Strike Command said. The test, which reprotedly took 10 months to plan, was the latest designed “to check the readiness and accuracy of a weapon system that forms part of the U.S. nuclear force” but in reality was the second strong message sent to Kim Jong-Un in the span of one week.
This is the statement Vanderberg released shortly after the launch:
Airmen from Malmstrom and Vandenberg Air Force bases conducted an operational test launch of an unarmed Minuteman III missile. The test launch used an intercontinental ballistic missile pulled randomly from a silo on Malmstrom Air Force Base, which was then transported and reassembled at Vandenberg, and launched by crew members from the 341st Missile Wing. The ICBM was equipped with a single test reentry vehicle, and traveled approximately 4,200 miles to a test range near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. These ICBM test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent.
It also released the following video of the ICBM launch, which we are confident will be closely watched by everyone in the Kim Jong-Un administration.