US postpones long-planned ICBM test due to tensions with China

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US postpones planned ICBM test due to escalation tension with Chinawhich has deployed dozens of military aircraft and missiles to the Taiwan Strait in recent days, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday.

“We don’t believe it’s in our interest, Taiwan’s interest, the region’s interest, to allow further escalation of tensions, so the long-planned Minuteman III ICBM test scheduled for this week has been rescheduled for the near future,” Kirby said. briefing at the White House.

“If China engages in destabilizing military training around Taiwan, the United States instead demonstrates the behavior of a responsible nuclear power, reducing the risk of miscalculation and misperception.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California visited Taiwan earlier this week and met with President Tsai Ing-wen and Foreign Secretary Joseph Wu.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (left) talks to Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi as she prepares to leave Taipei, Taiwan.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (left) talks to Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi as she prepares to leave Taipei, Taiwan.
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan via AP)

China strongly condemned the visit and conducted a series of combat exercises with live fire in the waters around Taiwan by deploying J-20 stealth fighters and DF-17 hypersonic missiles.

Kirby said Thursday that the ICBM test delay would not affect the “modernization, readiness, or reliability” of the US nuclear defense system, but Republican lawmakers immediately condemned the move.

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Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas, noted in a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that this second time The United States has postponed an ICBM test this year after it delayed the launch of a Minuteman III ICBM in March amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Are these reports accurate? If so, how long is the administration going to let Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping dictate the missile test schedule to us?” Cotton asked Lloyd in a letter.

Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, the leading Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, accused Biden administration or by canceling the tests for “poster [Chinese President Xi Jinping’s] tantrums.”

“These weak-willed attempts at appeasement undermine our readiness and will only provoke further aggression from our adversaries,” Rogers said in a statement Thursday.

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Kirby defended Thursday’s delay, saying the test would be rescheduled for the near future.

“The president believed, and the national security team believed that a strong, self-confident, powerful nuclear energy We can afford to wait a couple of weeks until the verification makes it clear, not only in words, but in deeds, how serious we are when we say that we are not interested in escalating tensions, ”he said on Thursday.

The Minuteman III ICBM is a nearly 80,000-pound silo-launched missile with a range of over 6,000 miles and a speed of approximately 15,000 miles per hour.

Chad Pergram of Fox News contributed to this report.