Earlier this week the US tested a cruise missile that hit its target after an astounding 500km flight. This troubled China and Russia – they have called for the UN Security Council convention to investigate. The US defence secretary claimed the test was performed in a response to the Kremlin’s recent expansion of its nuclear arsenal and their breach the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (IMF) treaty, which prohibited land-based missiles with a range of 500-5,500km. China was never part of the treaty.
Why does this matter? Tensions are escalating: Putin has already claimed he will respond to any threat from the US, and Russia is not the only country to breach the 1987 treaty – the US is guilty, too. The US Pentagon has also said it will probably test missiles of an even longer range (of between 1,864 and 2,485 miles) before the end of the year.
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