U.S. Conducts Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Test

Photo Courtesy: U.S. Air Force[1]

By: Garrett Redfield

Today at 9:27am EST, the United States Air Force tested an “unarmed” intercontinental ballistic missile called the Minuteman III. According to Air Force Global Strike Command officials, the purpose of the test was “to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system.” Interestingly, the test comes just days after North Korea tested six missiles from “new rocket launchers.”

Just when U.S. – D.P.R.K. tensions seemed to be easing, this round of missile testing from both sides has just added fuel to a dying fire. The U.S. had originally planned on testing its ICBM a month ago, but decided to delay it due to the rising tensions and to avoid any misunderstandings with North Korea. However, the D.P.R.K. has already made its stance known regarding the matter, having already condemned the U.S. test by “calling it a serious military provocation” and “direct threat to Pyeongyang.”

Although the U.S. asserts that the test is not geared towards North Korea, it should be noted that the U.S. Air Force released the following statement:

“The test supports U.S. strategic deterrence efforts… by demonstrating the operational credibility of the Minuteman III. Agencies across the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy will use the data collected from this mission to ensure a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent. The United States’ ability to maintain a strong, credible nuclear deterrent is a key element of U.S. national security and the security of U.S. allies and friends.”


Garrett Redfield is a Master of International Affairs Candidate at the School of International Affairs at The Pennsylvania State University. As an adopted Korean American, he has a strong interest in Korean Peninsula affairs, and focuses on Korean Reunification. Garrett has lived in Korea for an extensive amount of time, mainly as a former ESL instructor. He is proficient in Korean.

[1] http://www.af.mil/information/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=113.

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