Sunday, 3 Mar 2024

US launches unarmed ICBM to test 'readiness of nuclear forces' only hours after issuing stern warning to North Korea | The Sun

THE United States has launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile in a show of force hours after issuing North Korea a stern warning.

The test launch took place Wednesday from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara County, California, in a collaborated effort by the US Air Force and Space Force.

"The purpose of the ICBM test launch is to validate and verify the safety, security, effectiveness, and readiness of the weapon system," Vandenberg Space Force said in a statement.

"The Airmen and Guardians who perform this vital mission are some of the most skillfully trained and dedicated personnel in America's Air Force," Space Launch Delta 30 vice commander Colonel Bryan Titus said.

"These test launches demonstrate the readiness of US nuclear forces and provide confidence in the lethality and effectiveness of the nation's nuclear deterrent."

The show of force comes after White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned North Korea it will "pay a price" if it strikes an arms deal with Russia.

"If Pyongyang provides weapons to Moscow to use in the war against Ukraine, it is not going to reflect well on North Korea, and they will pay a price for this in the international community," Sullivan said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby revealed last week that negotiations between the two nations were "actively advancing."

Russia leader Vladimir Putin wants North Korea to supply his nation with artillery shells and antitank missiles, sources told The New York Times.

In exchange, Kim Jong Un wants the Russians to give North Korea advanced technology for satellites, nuclear-powered submarines, and food aid for the nation, according to The New York Times.

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The US and its allies are concerned about the technology North Korea is seeking from Russia, two US officials told CNN.

A potential meeting between Jong Un and Putin in Russia could take place this month, the outlet first reported.

Several North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile tests have been launched in recent months, alarming US officials and its allies in East Asia.

On August 30, North Korea fired two missiles in retaliation for joint drills held by Japan, South Korea, and the US.

North Korea's People's Army (KPA) said: "simultaneous super-intense strikes would also target military command centres, ports, operational airfields, and other targets in South Korea.

"As part of the tactical nuclear strike drill simulating scorched earth strikes, the nuclear-arms country fired two missiles late on Wednesday."

North Korea added that the grill was "aimed to send a clear message to the enemies who challenged them with such military threats."

Hours before the tyrant launched two missiles, the US sent out B-1B bombers for a joint drill with South Korea and Japan in a show of force.

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A US B-1B flew alongside South Korean FA-50 jets and US Ari Force F-16 fighters as part of the Ulchi Freedom Shield exercises, South Korea's defense ministry said.

Two US Air Force B-1Bs joined joint drills with 12 Japanese fighters, including four F-15 jets, Japan's defense ministry revealed.

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