The U.S. military has conducted a flight test of a type of missile banned for more than 30 years, under a treaty from which it bolted earlier this month, the Pentagon said Monday, in a move experts said was likely to have been closely watched by China, Russia and even North Korea.

Conducted Sunday, the test of the medium-range ground-launched cruise missile came just weeks after the U.S. and Russia formally left the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that saw them eliminate that class of nuclear-capable weapons.

It was expected to further stir debate over the possibility of a fresh arms race, especially after the U.S. defense chief said earlier this month that Washington hoped to deploy intermediate-range weapons to Asia. Sunday's test used a type of missile launcher that is part of the Aegis system, currently in use in a defensive configuration on Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers, as well as its land-based counterpart, Aegis Ashore.