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US Test-Fires Ballistic Missile From California Coast

US Test-Fires Ballistic Missile From California Coast

The Minuteman III ICBM was launched from a silo at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base this morning (May 3) at 3:02 a.m. EDT (0702 GMT; 12:02 a.m. local California time), military officials said.

The force said the test was similar to the one conducted a week ago, where another Minuteman delivered a single re-entry vehicle to a target near the Marshall Islands atoll.

Linda Frost, a spokeswoman for strike command, said the missile is tested about four times a year.

Malmstrom AFB, Minot AFB and F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming, are the three missile bases with crew members standing alert 24 hours a day, year-round, overseeing the nation's ICBM alert forces.

New missile tests by North Korea and its progress toward developing a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States have made the isolated communist dictatorship one of the top USA national security concerns.

The Minuteman III nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile is one of the pillars of the USA air-land-sea triad, which also includes the Ohio-class submarine and the B-52 strategic bomber.

In a report by the 38 North website, images of the Punggye-ri nuclear test facility taken April 25 showed that the pumping of water from the site's north portal - where the North has apparently been preparing to conduct an atomic test - had been restarted "to maintain an optimal environment for instrumentation and stemming".

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The deputy director said the test has "been planned for a while".

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Santa Barbara, has criticized the timing and the Air Force's motives for both launches.

The Pentagon is ready to test a nuclear-tipped missile interceptor, according to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency on Tuesday.

We will remind, on April 26 the USA air force had planned planned to hold a launch of an Intercontinental ballistic missile Minuteman III.

Washington has expressed concern about Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, and recent missile tests by the North suggest it is making progress toward developing a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the US.

A similar test occurred April 26, a scheduling quirk after the delay of test past year and not a response to global tensions.

The other test missile was launched in February.

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