Tests at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California are typically scheduled
weeks or even months in advance, but this one came at a time of soaring
tensions with North Korea over its trial of an ICBM last week.
While not a response to recent North Korean actions, the test
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, the Air Force Global Strike
North Korea has alarmed the international community by the pace and
progress of its missile development program, and in July leader Kim Jong-Un
conducted two tests of an ICBM -- the first time he had demonstrated
The first of these trials, which Kim described as a gift to "American
bastards," showed the rocket had the potential range to hit Alaska.
The second rocket test last week flew even longer, with some experts
even suggesting that New York could be in range.
Decades after the Cold War, and frequently forgotten by a public
preoccupied with the threat of terrorism, the United States still fields
hundreds of Minuteman III ICBMs, dotted in silos across rural America.