US Test Fires Minuteman-3 ICBM

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On August 2, the U.S. Air Force successfully test fired an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Fired out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the missile traveled approximately 6,800 km across the Pacific before striking a target area at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

According to a statement from the USAF, the launch was not a response to recent North Korean actions, but “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.” This was the fourth such test this year, with previous launches conducted in February, April, and May.