U.S. Air Force Test-Fires Nuclear-Capable Missile for Second Time in a Week

ICBM Missile Launch screenshot

The U.S. Air Force test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile with nuclear capabilities for the second time in a week on Wednesday.

The Minuteman 3 missile, which was unarmed and has a range of 8,000 miles, was launched around 12:02 a.m. from a silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the Daily Mail reported.

U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command said the projectile struck a target at Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean about 4,200 miles away.

The test comes as tensions rise between North Korea and President Trump over the country’s nuclear weapons program.

The test was the second launch in the span of a week from the military base. The Air Force launched an intercontinental ballistic missile April 26, after it was originally planned to launch last fall.

It took over 10 months to plan the most recent test, which was designed to test the readiness and accuracy of a weapon system first designed during the Cold War.

The U.S. has an estimated 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles located in underground silos at Air Force bases across the country, according to the Air Force.

Recent missile tests by North Korea suggest that the communist dictatorship is trying to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the U.S., which has put the U.S. on high alert.

The U.S. responded by sending warships to the area as a way to ensure North Korea does not perform another missile test, the Independent reported.

President Trump has said he would be willing to meet North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, to discuss North Korea’s nuclear weapons program provided that it is under the right circumstances.

“If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it,” Trump told Bloomberg News. “If it’s under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”