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North Korean missile test longest since 2017

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North Korea’s latest missile test on Sunday appears to be the longest ballistic missile launch since 2017, as well as its seventh such weapons test this month. 

The Japanese and South Korean militaries said the missile launch hit a maximum height of 2,000 kilometers and moved 800 kilometers before it fell into the sea, according to The Associated Press.

The projectile traveled towards the east for roughly 30 minutes and ultimately landed in waters just outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone, Bloomberg reported, citing Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno. He said officials are “currently conducting further analysis.”

The missile was reportedly set into motion on a high trajectory in an effort to stay away from the territories of other countries, according to the AP.

Based on the flight details, Sunday’s launch appears to be the longest-range ballistic missile dispatched since 2017, according to the AP.

North Korea confirmed reports of the test launch on Monday, noting that it was an intermediate-range ballistic missile with the ability to travel into Guam, the AP reported. 

The North said the missile was dispatched in the direction of the waters off its east coast and on a high angle to keep it from flying over other nations, according to the AP.

The country also revealed that a camera was installed in the missile’s warhead, which captured a picture from space of Earth. 

That year, the North flew intermediate-range ballistic missiles over Japan twice, and sent three other intercontinental ballistic missiles that appeared to have the ability to reach the U.S.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters that Sunday’s missile was the longest-range the North had tested since November 2017, when it dispatched a Hwasong-15 ICBM, according to the AP.

South Korea President Moon Jae-in said Sunday’s test was a potential “mid-range ballistic missile launch” that brought the North close to breaching its 2018 vow to not test nuclear devices and long-range missiles.

“North Korea must stop raising tensions and pressure and accept offers from South Korea and the United States to restart dialogue,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in said after Sunday’s launch, per the New York Times

Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this month said the North’s ballistic missile launches were “profoundly destabilizing.”

North Korea started testing shorter-range missiles in 2019 after an unsuccessful summit with the U.S. The North, however, has not launched intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017, as there has been little public progress in restarting talks under the Biden administration.

Updated: 9:44 p.m.

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