North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Pyongyang, June 2019
KCNA via Reuters

On January 30, North Korea fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile from the north province of Jagang, its seventh rocket test this year. At first glance, this may not seem like a huge deal. The rockets are not, after all, the nuclear bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that North Korea has tested in the past. Russia is currently massing troops on the Ukrainian border, and COVID-19 cases are surging around the world thanks to the Omicron variant. By comparison, the launches may look like a lesser concern—just another routine military provocation from Pyongyang.

But the tests aren’t coming at

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