US defence officials have postponed a long-planned missile test to avoid “any misperception or miscalculation” amid mounting tensions with North Korea.
The launching of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, initially scheduled for next week at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, had nothing to do with North Korea, a senior US defence official said on condition of anonymity.
It was only “prudent and wise” to delay the test given the tensions on the Korean peninsula, the official added.
“The US will conduct another test soon and remains strongly committed to our nuclear deterrence capabilities,” said the official.
North Korea has ramped up its hostile rhetoric against the US and recently threatened that tensions could escalate in the following days. Diplomatic missions in the isolated nation were told to evacuate because Pyongyang said it could no longer guarantee their safety after the “inevitable” conflict.
North Korea also moved two medium-range missiles on its east coast in a show of nuclear prowess.