The U.S. Air Force test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile which traveled over 4,000 miles before splashing down in the South Pacific after launching early Wednesday from a base in California. The nuclear-capable missile was unarmed, according to the Air Force, and comes amid increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.  The Minuteman III missile blasted off at 12:03 a.m. Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The test was long-planned, according to defense officials. When asked about the timing of the test amid the threats surrounding North Korea, one official told Fox News,

“If we had canceled the launch, that would be a story too.” The U.S. Air Force has 450 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles in underground silos across three bases in Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana. This number will be reduced to 400 in the coming years, according to a senior U.S. military official. The U.S. military also maintains a fleet of long range B-2 and B-52 bombers capable of delivering nuclear weapons as well as a fleet of ballistic missile submarines. Air Force fighter jets can carry smaller tactical nuclear weapons as well. READ MORE