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August 5, 2022

US defers Minuteman III ICBM test amid tensions with China over Taiwan

The long-planned missile test was originally slated to take place this week.

The US has postponed a long-planned intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) LGM-30 Minuteman III test to avoid increasing tensions with China over Taiwan.

It was confirmed by US Pentagon press secretary John Kirby during a press briefing on 4 August.

Details regarding when the test will be conducted are currently not known.

Kirby asserted that the test is not being delayed for an ‘exorbitant amount of time’ and it will not affect the country’s ‘nuclear readiness’.

He said: “As China engages in destabilising military exercises around Taiwan, the US is demonstrating instead behaviour of a responsible nuclear power by reducing risks of miscalculation and misperception.

“We do not believe it is in our interest, Taiwan’s interest, region’s interest to allow tensions to escalate further, which is why a long-planned Minuteman III ICBM test scheduled for this week has been rescheduled for near future.”

Meanwhile, China has launched several military exercises in the areas surrounding the Taiwan Strait, in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on 2 August.

On 4 August, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said that it has performed long-range live-fire gunnery training drills and conducted precision strikes on specific areas in the eastern parts of the Taiwan Strait.

The event was also reported by Taiwan’s Ministry of Defence (MND).

Taiwan’s MND tweeted: “PLA has launched multiple DF ballistic #missiles at our NE and SW waters since 13:56. #ROCArmedForces have monitored the situation with various means, while our defence systems have been activated. We condemn such irrational action that has jeopardised regional peace.”

In addition, the Japanese Government reported that five missiles, fired by the People’s Republic of China, have landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The US recently postponed another Minuteman III test to avoid nuclear tensions with Russia.

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