US test-launches intercontinental missile

Associated Press

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. Air Force has launched an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile from a California base, a month after the test flight was postponed because of tensions with North Korea.

Vandenberg Air Force Base says the Minuteman 3 lifted off at 6:27 a.m. PDT Wednesday. It later splashed down thousands of miles away in the Pacific.

It's the first Minuteman test-launch of the year. Several Minutemans are launched each year at from Vandenberg to determine the weapon system's accuracy and reliability.

Officials say the original mid-April flight plan was delayed to avoid it being misconstrued by North Korea during a time of heightened tensions. It was rescheduled for Tuesday morning but was pushed back a day due to a problem with range safety instruments.

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