The United States flight-tested an intermediate-range, ground-based ballistic missile on December 12. It had been banned under the INF treaty that the United States and Russia abandoned last summer.
The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty banned ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.
The rocket was a prototype missile armed with a nonnuclear warhead, a Pentagon spokesman said. Such missiles can be equipped with conventional, chemical, biological, or nuclear warheads.
“Once we develop intermediate-range missiles, and if my commanders require them, then we will work closely and consult closely with our allies in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere with regards to any possible deployments,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said.
The United States withdrew from the INF Treaty in August after determining that Russia was violating the pact. Moscow has denied the accusations.
Last week, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin offered to immediately extend the US-Russia 2011 New START arms control treaty. However, Washington said it is not interested in an immediate extension.