Missile Mania

China last week carried out a second flight test of a new long-range mobile missile that is capable of hitting United States cities with a nuclear warhead. The test took place days before North Korea is set to fire its long-range missile, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

U.S. intelligence airborne and space sensors detected the flight test Friday of the road-mobile DF-31A missile as it lifted off from the Wuzhai Space and Missile Test Center. The missile flew west to an impact range in western China.

It was the second DF-31A flight test since August and highlights China growing strategic nuclear buildup, a modernization program largely carried out in secret.

The DF-31A test also took place on the last day of a rare U.S.-China military exercise in Chengdu that practiced joint disaster relief efforts.

China is known to use its missile tests to send political signals, as in 1996 when it bracketed Taiwan with missile flight tests that impacted north and south of the island prior to a presidential election.

Full article: Missile Mania (Washington Free Beacon)

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