The Pentagon has delayed an intercontinental ballistic missile test due to take place in California next week amid soaring nuclear tensions with North Korea, an official said.

The defense official told AFP that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel decided to to reschedule the Minuteman 3 test at Vandenberg Air Force Base until next month due to concerns the launch "might be misconstrued by some as suggesting that we were intending to exacerbate the current crisis with North Korea."