USA has just test-fired intercontinental ballistic missile that can carry a nuke virtually anywhere on the planet. Wednesday’s show of force was the second in the space of couple of days, as an unarmed Minuteman 3 missile was launched from a silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 12.02am.
The missile has an effective range of 8,000 miles, and this particular one hit Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean approximately 4,200 miles away from the base. The authorities say that the test took ten months to plan but the launch “conveniently” comes at a time when tensions between North Korea and the USA are at its volatile peak.
The missiles are fitted with W87 nuclear warheads that deliver a blast equivalent to 475 kilotons of TNT. This is 30 times more powerful than the Little Boy nuke dropped on Hiroshima that is estimated to have killed over 146,000 people!
The missile forms the backbone of US’ nuclear threat and was originally developed during the Cold War against Russia. The U.S. is estimated to hold over 450 intercontinental Minutemen missiles, which cost $7,000,000 each and are fired from silos built into the ground located all across the country.
Meanwhile, North Korea is also working on its own long range death missiles. The country’s military claims to have missiles with a range of up to 930 miles, and is now working on the Taepodong-2, which is a new missile with a maximum range of around 3,700 miles!
The country’s premier claims that they successfully launched a Taepodong-1 rocket, with a range of around 3,000 miles, back in 1998 which put North Korea’s first satellite into orbit. But experts believe that the launch was a failed one and the claim a hoax.
Fresh tensions have emerged after missile tests by North Korea and its fixation with making a nuclear weapon that can strike the United States, making the country America’s top national security concerns. The U.S. has already sent warships to deter the country from conducting another nuclear test, although that has only led to further escalation and defiance from the Koreans.