Air Force to test intercontinental missile Wednesday: report

Air Force to test intercontinental missile Wednesday: report
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The Air Force will test launch a nuclear-tip-capable intercontinental ballistic missile from California on Wednesday, according to a new report.

The scheduled trial of the Minuteman III comes amid rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, the Washington Examiner said Tuesday. An Air Force Global Strike Command spokeswoman told the Examiner the event was planned roughly a year in advance and has no link with North Korea.

The Air Force said the launch would come from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Air Force Global Strike Command will oversee the test, the Examiner added, which is meant to illustrate America’s nuclear capabilities.

“These Minuteman launches are essential to verify the status of our national nuclear force and to demonstrate our national nuclear capabilities,” Col. John Moss, the 30th Space Wing Commander who will order the launch, said in a statement.

The Minuteman was last tested in February, Air Force Global Strike Command added, with the weapon typically getting four trials annually.

The U.S. and North Korea are increasingly at odds over the latter’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons testing.

Reports emerged Monday that a nuclear-powered U.S. Navy submarine would arrive in South Korea Tuesday.

The USS Michigan reportedly docked in the port city of Busan in a movement one U.S. defense official on Monday described as a show of force.

North Korea attempted but failed to launch a ballistic missile from its east coast earlier this month, stoking fears from its neighbors in the Pacific.

President Trump has repeatedly urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to help settle tensions in the region.