What was more disturbing than the actual launch, however, was the rhetoric behind it: instead of passing it off as another routine test, and letting US "adversaries" make up their own mind about what is going on, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, who witnessed the launch, said the U.S. tests, conducted at least 15 times since January 2011, send a message to strategic rivals like Russia, China and North Korea that Washington has an effective nuclear arsenal. "That’s exactly why we do this," Work told reporters before the launch.
Of course, the #1 unspoken rule when launching ICBMs is to never explicitly say why you are doing it. By breaking said rule, it marks a much greater escalation in international diplomacy than merely test firing the nuclear-capable ballistic missile.
That, however, was not an issue and Work piled on, with the following stunner
"We and the Russians and the Chinese routinely do test shots to prove that the operational missiles that we have are reliable. And that is a signal ... that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons in defense of our country if necessary."
Well that's good to know.…Zero Hedge
Caught On Tape: U.S. Test Fires Nuclear ICBM, Warns "We Are Prepared To Use Nuclear Weapons"