US tests medium-range cruise missile

Last Updated: Aug 20 2019 19:22
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The United States has tested a medium-range cruise missile weeks after pulling out of a key treaty with Russia that banned such nuclear-capable weapons.

On Sunday, the Pentagon said it successfully launched the missile off the coast of California.

Moscow accused the US of "escalating military tensions".

The United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on 2 August after accusing Russia of breaching it, a claim Moscow denies.

Analysts fear the collapse of the INF could spark a new arms race.

The Pentagon said the missile, launched from the US-Navy controlled San Nicolas Island off the coast of Los Angeles, was "conventionally configured", meaning not nuclear-equipped.

"The test missile exited its ground mobile launcher and accurately impacted its target after more than 500km (310 miles) of flight," the US defence department said in a statement.

"Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense's development of future intermediate-range capabilities."

Russia called it a "cause of regret".

"The US has obviously taken the course of escalating military tensions. We won't react to provocations," Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by state news agency Tass as saying.