US military cancels missile test over nuclear tensions with Russia


US military cancels missile test over nuclear tensions with Russia

The U.S. Air Force canceled an intercontinental ballistic missile test in what the branch says is an effort to avoid increasing nuclear tensions with Russia.

The cancellation of the test, revealed Friday, comes several weeks after the Pentagon delayed testing the Minuteman III missile in early March, shortly after Russia placed its nuclear forces on high alert.

Ann Stefanek, a spokeswoman for the Air Force, said both the delay and the cancellation were due to an overabundance of caution to avoid a miscommunication or misinterpretation from Russia that could launch the United States into a nuclear war five weeks into the conflict in Ukraine.

"The department is confident in the readiness of the strategic forces of the United States," Stefanek told the Washington Examiner.

The U.S. and Russia have the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world. The nuclear-capable Minuteman III has a range of more than 6,000 miles and can travel as fast as 15,000 mph according to Reuters.

The next missile test will be held later this year, according to Stefanek. U.S. officials said they have seen no activity that would change the nuclear threat levels in Washington.

Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine resumed Friday.