VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA — The U.S. Air Force successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile from California on Wednesday. However, a military spokesman said it was not a response to recent North Korean actions.
An unarmed LGM-30G Minuteman III missile was launched at 2:10 a.m. PT from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It flew about 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
"The test demonstrates that the United States' nuclear enterprise is safe, secure, effective and ready to be able to deter, detect and defend against attacks on the United States and its allies," an Air Force statement says.
The Minuteman III is currently the only land-based ICBM in service in the United States. It is capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads.
The missile has three stages of solid propellant rocket engines. The re-entry vehicle is launched along with decoys and chaff designed to confuse the defense system, before the multiple warheads strike different targets.
North Korea tests an ICBM for the second time last week. The missile travelled more than 1,000 km, NBC News reported. The first ICBM test conducted by North Korea was on July 4th.