The US Air Force test launched an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile on Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The test comes a week after the US successfully test fired an ICBM at the airbase.

The news will come as a blow to North Korea which has suffered a string of embarrassing missile launch failures.

Most recently, a missile launched on Saturday morning from north of the country’s capital Pyongyang exploded prematurely.

“The purpose of the ICBM test launch program is to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system,” Air Force Global Strike Command said in a statement.

While Col John Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, said the launch was to demonstrate the “nuclear capabilities” of the US.

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