This morning, the United States Air Force will conduct an ICBM missile test in the western Pacific, an obvious and direct response to North Korea’s recent missile tests. Unlike North Korea’s missiles, which often fall apart while in flight, the Minuteman III missile the United States will use delivers a more reliable performance – and deadly accuracy.
According to a report by The Daily Mail, the Air Force is going to fire the Minuteman missile from a base on the California coast and into the western Pacific.
After the latest North Korean missile test, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un said his country now had the ability to hit any target within the continental United States. While military experts doubt the country’s ability to fire a missile that can stay together and actually hit the target, they do admit North Korea’s technology is improving with each test. When perfected, experts say a North Korean missile could reach Chicago.
Kim Jong-un’s saber-rattling seems to be doing little but uniting his neighbors against him. It will likely have the opposite effect of his intentions – rather than bring him more attention and a greater standing on the world stage, he is hastening a military response by the United States and its allies.
An unarmed Minuteman III missile is due to be fired off from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base – located about 10 miles northwest of Lompoc – before 6am local time on Wednesday.
The Air Force Global Strike Command said the launch is designed to: ‘validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness, and accuracy of the weapon system’, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The missile, which weighs almost 80,000 pounds and has a range of 6,000 miles, is ‘an element of the nation’s strategic deterrent forces’, Military reports state.
After launch, the Minuteman will travel about 4,200 miles before it drops into the western Pacific Ocean, according to the North County Tribune.
The launch, which is the fourth of its kind this year, comes just days after North Korea conducted another ballistic missile test on Friday – the second in the last month.
The two-stage Hwasong-14 missile crashed off the coast of Japan’s northern-most island, Hokkaido.
US and South Korean experts have analysed Japanese footage capturing the rocket’s re-entry vehicle shortly before it crashed into the sea.
They said the video suggests it failed to survive the extreme heat and pressure after re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere following its launch.
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