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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on April 17th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 6 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 6

Vandenberg missile test postponed

BY FRANK GONZALES

News broke on April 6 that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had ordered a planned missile launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base be postponed in light of the escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The decision to postpone the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) test that was planned for April 9 came as part of the Pentagon’s mission to begin toning down its response to North Korea’s provocations, which included a recent nuclear weapon test, a stream of bellicose rhetoric, and medium-range missiles prepared and raised for launch as of this writing.

In response, the Pentagon had carried out flyovers of B-52 and B-2 Stealth Bombers capable of delivering nuclear weapons during its pre-planned war games with its ally South Korea. It also sent surface warships to the region with missile defense capabilities, and it reiterated its commitment to defend its allies in the region.

Compared to the missiles North Korea was prepping for launch, the Minuteman III ICBM has a much longer, classified range and was developed specifically to carry nuclear weapons.

Regarding the decision, Lt. Col. Jim Gregory, a Pentagon spokesman, said, “Secretary Hagel decided to postpone the Minuteman ICBM test, recognizing that it would be inaccurately construed by some as an attempt to exacerbate tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The test was previously scheduled and is in no way connected to recent events on the peninsula.”