The Pentagon announced that it is postponing a nuclear missile test launch scheduled for this week to avoid any possible misunderstanding in light of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent decision to put his nuclear forces on higher alert.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the decision to delay the test of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile was made by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. He said the U.S. would like to see Moscow reciprocate by “taking the temperature down” in the crisis over Ukraine.
Kirby said the U.S. did not put its nuclear forces on higher alert in response to Putin’s move, which the spokesman described as dangerous and unnecessary.
Austin is “comfortable that the strategic deterrence posture that we have in place is up to the task of defending the homeland and our allies.”
The United States usually performs about four test launches of Minuteman III missiles per year.
This is a developing story. Stay with Military Times for updates.