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The US intelligence community is trying to determine if North Korea tested a ballistic missile earlier this week with properties the US has not seen before, according to three US officials, CNN reports.

North Korea fired three ballistic missiles on Wednesday, including one that followed an unusual trajectory, according to official sources. The missile's flight path was described by two officials as a double arc, with the missile rising twice and then descending.

The flight path may indicate the goal was to test North Korea's ability to launch a missile and re-enter Earth's atmosphere to reach the target, two officials said.

The second phase of a possible double arc of the rocket could be the separation of the return vehicle from the main rocket. It's not yet clear to the US whether this was all part of the planned flight path, one of the officials said.

The US intelligence assessment of all three test launches is still at a preliminary stage, the officials said.

Earlier, the United States, South Korea and Japan issued a joint statement expressing deep concern over North Korea's May 25 launches of an intercontinental ballistic missile and shorter-range ballistic missiles.

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