North Korea on Tuesday tested an apparent intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) — possibly loaded with a hypersonic warhead — just over a week before a key general election in South Korea.

South Korean military officials said they suspected the launch, which would be Pyongyang's second IRBM test this year, may have been intended to gauge the weapon's performance after it tested a solid-fuel engine for a “new-type intermediate-range hypersonic missile” on March 19.

In January, the North also conducted a test of an IRBM loaded with what it said was "a hypersonic maneuverable controlled warhead."