US military tests ground-based cruise missile

United States military tests previously banned missile

The test, from San Nicolas Island, Calif., would not have been permitted under the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987 and abandoned on August 2.

He disputed the notion that abandoning the INF treaty will spark an arms race.

Moscow said the USA was stoking military tensions by testing the missile after Washington tore up a Cold War-era pact banning this type of potentially nuclear-capable weapon.

Media caption Should we be concerned about an impending nuclear conflict?

A Pentagon spokesman says the test is part of a broader effort to determine what new technologies the Defense Department needs to meet current threats.

'This is all a cause of regret.

"The timing of the test is also noteworthy: The fact that it took place only 16 days after the death of the treaty shows that the Trump administration clearly wanted to send a message to US adversaries or kick-start the development of a ground-based INF missile program", Korda added.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in comments to the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency on Tuesday expressed concern that the United States is increasing "the destabilizing potential" of the issue.

What happened to the INF treaty?

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The U.S. has for years accused Russian Federation of violating the INF through the development of the Novator 9M729 cruise missile, while Moscow has charged Washington with breaking the treaty by deploying defense systems that use platforms resembling Mark-41 Vertical Launch Systems (Mk-41 VLS) capable of firing offensive missiles like the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile. "Folks can spread propaganda and all they want and misinformation, but we are on the other side of the treaty now", said Karako, referring to the senator's statement.

The missile launched August 18 was likely taken from a destroyer or another warship and put on the back of a trailer, said Tom Karako, a missile specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Ryabkov said the test showed Washington had been working on such missiles long before its official withdrawal from the deal.

"I have already said about that, and would like to say once again here, in France, we are unilaterally undertaking obligations".

China, with this same mindset, has also declined proposed three-way talks regarding the USA and Russia's New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said "an invaluable brake on nuclear war" had been lost. Sunday's test used a type of missile launcher that is part of the Aegis system, now in use in a defensive configuration on Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers, as well as its land-based counterpart, Aegis Ashore.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the transatlantic alliance would "respond in a measured and responsible way to the significant risks posed by the Russian 9M729 missile to allied security". Both missiles are to be non-nuclear.

What was the INF Treaty?

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