US Navy sub test-launches missile, following North Korea test of its own

The U.S. Navy launched an unarmed ballistic missile off the coast of Florida on Thursday hours after North Korea fired two short-range missiles, its second weapons launch in five days.

Pentagon spokeswoman Laura Seal confirmed in a statement that the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs launched an unarmed Trident II (D5) missile from the USS Rhode Island off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Fla., as a part of a Demonstration and Shakedown Operation.

While the exact range of the missiles is classified, it’s likely that it flew 7,000 miles, officials told Fox News.

NORTH KOREA FIRES 2 SHORT-RANGE MISSILES, 5 DAYS AFTER PREVIOUS LAUNCH; US TESTS LONG-RANGE MISSILES WITHIN 10 MINUTES

Seal said that the test on the submerged ballistic missile submarine was conducted from the sea and that the missile flew over and landed in the water.

The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) Gold crew returns to home port at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, back in March. 

The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) Gold crew returns to home port at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, back in March.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Bryan Tomforde)

The Pentagon said that the test was a standard one for its missile system, and that the missile never flew over land.

“Test launches are conducted on a recurring basis to evaluate and ensure the continued reliability and accuracy of the strategic weapon system.  Each test provides valuable information about our strategic weapon systems, thus contributing to assurance in our capabilities,” Seal said in a statement.

The latest show of strength comes several hours after North Korea fired two short-range missiles toward the sea, its second weapons launch in five days and a possible signal that stalled talks over its nuclear weapons program are in trouble. The Pentagon confirmed the launches.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the weapons flew 260 miles and 167 miles, respectively. The body is working with the United States to determine more details, such as the types of weapons that were fired.

The U.S. Air Force, meanwhile, tested a long-range missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California within 10 minutes of the reported launch by Pyongyang. The American intercontinental ballistic missile flew 4,200 miles into the Pacific from California, according to the Air Force. The launch of the Minuteman III intercontinental missile was the second missile launch this month and the fourth this year.

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Speaking to reporters on Thursday at the White House, President Trump said he was not “happy” about the North’s recent military action, adding that “we’re looking” at the situation “very seriously right now.”

He said the weapons were smaller, short-range missiles, but added, "Nobody's happy about it."

Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson, Louis Casiano and The Associated Press contributed to this report.