World War 3: US Military to Test Nuclear Readiness
Tensions continue to escalate between Pyongyang and Washington, with US President Donald Trump continuing to take a hardline stance against North Korea and sending an aircraft carrier strike group to the Korean Peninsula.
North Korean state media has responded to Washington’s moves by stating that Pyongyang is ready to sink the carrier, claiming its deployment was a “foolish military provocative act.”
An unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) will be launched from a US Air Force base in California Wednesday to ensure its “effectiveness, readiness and accuracy,” and demonstrate “national nuclear capabilities,” according to the US military.
The Minuteman III missile test comes amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, with a carrier strike group led by the ‘USS Carl Vinson’ approaching North Korean waters. However, a spokeswoman for the Air Force Global Strike Command says the test was planned in advance and is not connected with the situation in North Korea, and the launches happen on regular basis, according to the Washington Examiner.
“These Minuteman launches are essential to verify the status of our national nuclear force and to demonstrate our national nuclear capabilities,” the commander of the unit, Colonel John Moss, said in a statement.
The test launch is aimed at validating and verifying “the effectiveness, readiness, and accuracy of the weapon system,” according to the Air Force Global Strike Command.
“The Simulated Electronic Launch of a Minuteman III ICBM is a signal to the American people, our allies, and our adversaries that our ICBM capability is safe, secure, lethal and ready,” the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron commander, Lt. Col. Deane Konowicz, said in a statement.
The US and South Korean militaries have taken part in a combined firing drill as part of joint exercises amid increased tensions with Pyongyang. It comes just one day after the North launched its own artillery drill.
More than 2,000 South Korean and American troops were involved in the Wednesday drills in Pocheon, South Korea, according to Yonhap news agency.
The war games took place at Seungjin Fire Training Field, some 30km south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas.