China tests 'longest-range missile' over disputed South China Sea

Beijing: China's Defense Ministry appears to have confirmed a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) over disputed waters in the South China Sea.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

A three-sentence statement posted on the ministry's website on Thursday posed the question of whether China had fired an ICBM in the area of the South China Sea, which is claimed almost entirely by China.

In its response, the ministry said China maintains that technological research experiments conducted within China's boundaries are normal and are not aimed at any specific nations or targets.

The statement follows a report in the U.S. newspaper Washington Free Beacon that quoted unidentified Pentagon officials as saying China tested its longest-range DF-41 missile on Tuesday. The report did not say where the test took place, but said it involved two multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs).

The report also stated that the DF-41 is assessed by U.S. intelligence agencies to be powerful enough to deliver between six and 10 warheads up to 7,456 miles—far enough to reach every corner of the United States from launch areas in eastern China.

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Updated Date: Apr 21, 2016 17:18:40 IST

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