(Bloomberg) — North Korea followed up January’s record barrage of missile tests with the firing of a suspected mid-range ballistic rocket on Sunday, ramping up tensions as global attention is focused on Ukraine.
The projectile reached an apogee of about 600 kilometers (375 miles) and flew at a range of about 300 km before splashing down in waters outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters in Tokyo.
South Korea’s military said its northern neighbor fired what appeared to be a single ballistic missile at 7:52 a.m. from an area near Pyongyang’s main airport toward waters off its east coast. The missile’s flight path was unusual and could indicate a test of a medium-to-intermediate range ballistic missile flown on a lofted trajectory, according to weapons experts.
North Korea often times its provocations for political purposes. The latest launch comes less than two weeks before South Korea holds a presidential election and as the Biden administration is tied up with one of its greatest international challenges — the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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