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The US has postponed a planned test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in a bid to defuse escalating nuclear tensions with Russia.

The Biden administration was slated to test Minuteman-III intercontinental ballistic missile this week.

However, the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin decided to defer the launch to lower the tensions.

Pentagon press secretary John F Kirby confirmed the postponement in a press briefing.

Notably, Russian President Vladimir Putin placed nuclear forces on high alert following the launch of military action on Ukraine.

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By GlobalData

Recently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was also quoted as saying that the Third World War would be a nuclear conflict, further fuelling fears.

In the press briefing, Kirby said: “Such provocative rhetoric and possible changes to nuclear posture involving the most consequential weapons in our respective arsenals is unacceptable.

“The US has not taken any similar steps. And so in an effort to demonstrate that we have no intention in engaging in any actions that can be misunderstood or misconstrued, the secretary of defense has directed that our Minuteman-III intercontinental ballistic missile test launch scheduled for this week to be postponed.”

He also said that the postponement is aimed to prevent the risks of ‘miscalculation’ but the US will continue to maintain its readiness and other routine activities will continue as planned.

Kirby added: “We remain confident in our strategic posture, as we’ve said before, and our ability to defend the homeland and our allies and partners remains fully intact and ready.”