U.S. missile test delayed in April due to N. Korean tensions now scheduled for Tuesday
North Korean soldiers watch Chinese side from border town Simuiju, North Korea, as they are seen from Dandong, northeastern Liaoning province of China, Monday, May 20, 2013. (Kyodo News)
Published Monday, May 20, 2013 1:00PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 20, 2013 11:24PM EDT
WASHINGTON -- The Air Force says its test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, which Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel had postponed in April because of tensions with North Korea, is now scheduled to happen on Tuesday.
The unarmed Minuteman 3 missile is to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and travel 6,742 kilometres to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. It is one in a series of periodic launches to ensure that the ICBM force is reliable.
The U.S. has 450 nuclear-armed Minuteman 3 missiles ready for combat use, if directed by the president. They are in underground silos in five states.
In April the Pentagon said Hagel postponed the test launch from Vandenberg because of concern that it could be misinterpreted and exacerbate the Korean crisis.