U.S. tests unarmed ICBM amid latest North Korea provocation

| Updated: Aug 03, 2017 06:55 IST

Washington [U.S.A.], August 3 (ANI): The Pentagon has conducted a test of an unarmed Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) in the wake of the recent provocation by North Korea. Wednesday's tests had a timing expected to be of note in both North Korea, and in China, which has been urged by the Trump administration to pressure Pyongyang on its nuclear program, the New York Times reports. "The unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California," according to an official statement from the Air Force Global Strike Command. "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 statement said. The statement said the test was a way to "verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a continued safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent," the New York Times adds. The test has come a day after United States Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said that the U.S. was not seeking a regime change in North Korea and would be willing to talk to Pyongyang. "We do not seek a collapse of the regime, we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula, we do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th Parallel," Tillerson said. Tillerson also assured North Korea that they were "not the enemy," but added that Pyongyang "is presenting an unacceptable threat" to them and they "have to respond." "We'll handle North Korea," Trump had said on Monday before he met with his cabinet. "We're going to be able to handle them. It will be handled. We handle everything." (ANI)