During a briefing on Wednesday afternoon, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that the scheduled test launch of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) had been postponed to show restraint.
"In an effort to demonstrate that we have no intention in engaging in any actions that can be misunderstood or misconstrued, the Secretary of Defense has directed that our Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile test launch scheduled for this week to be postponed.
"We did not take this decision lightly, but instead to demonstrate that we are a responsible nuclear power," Kirby said.
Here's a video of Kirby's afternoon briefing.
JUST IN: Pentagon press sec. John Kirby says the U.S. will postpone Minuteman-III intercontinental ballistic missile test planned for this week “to demonstrate that we are a responsible nuclear power" after Russian Pres. Putin raises nuclear alert level. https://t.co/atlOo6T2RF pic.twitter.com/nL99mMwEAr— ABC News (@ABC) March 2, 2022
Kirby said the launch was scheduled for this coming weekend. He said the launch will not be performed due to high tensions with Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, where President Vladimir Putin declared Sunday that he was putting his nuclear forces into "special combat readiness."
The Minuteman III is part of the US strategic deterrent forces under the control of the Air Force Global Strike Command.
Kirby also told reporters Russia's heightened alert status is "unacceptable." He noted a Russian convoy remains stalled outside of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv due to resupply challenges.