Sun, 27 Sep 2020

The United States flight-tested an intermediate-range, ground-based ballistic missile on December 12, the second test in four months that would have been banned under a U.S.-Russia arms treaty from which Washington withdrew in August.

The Defense Department said the launch came from Vandenberg Air Force Base northwest of Los Angeles, with the rocket flying more than 500 kilometers before plunging into an open area of the Pacific Ocean.

It was a prototype missile armed with a nonnuclear warhead, Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Robert Carver said.

Such missiles can be equipped with conventional, chemical, biological, or nuclear warheads.

The test further raises questions about the uncertain future of arms control.

It was the second test of a ground-launched, medium-range missile since Washington on August 2 exited the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

WATCH: Embracing The Bomb: Are We On The Brink Of A New Nuclear Arms Race? (published in July 2019)

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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