Moscow has once again flexed its military might, firing off its second intercontinental ballistic missile in less than two weeks.

While the world was consumed with North Korea, the Russian military on Tuesday test-fired its RS-12M Topol intercontinental ballistic missile from the Kapustin Yar launch facility in southwestern Russia.

Moscow said its practice warhead successfully hit a designated target at the Sary-Shagan firing range in Kazakhstan, an ex-Soviet neighbour with which it shares close economic and military ties.

The RS-12M Topol or (SS-25 Sickle) is a single-warhead ICBM, which entered service in 1988, according toMilitary Today.

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It has a maximum range of 11,000km and can carry a nuclear warhead with a yield of up to 550 kilotons.

In comparison North Korea's latest intermediate-range missile, which flew over Japan on September 15, flew for about 3700km.

Moscow's Tuesday launch follows the Russian Strategic Missile Force testing its modern Yars intercontinental ballistic missile for the second time last week.

The Yars missile, which is capable of hitting different targets up to 12,000km away, was also launched two weeks ago, according to RT News.

Russian claims to have conducted a successful intercontinental ballistic missile test from its Kapustin Yar test site on Tuesday. Photo / Russian Defense Ministry
Russian claims to have conducted a successful intercontinental ballistic missile test from its Kapustin Yar test site on Tuesday. Photo / Russian Defense Ministry

It also comes as Russia conducted large-scale tactical exercises near its border with North Korea.

Russian state-run News Agency Tass said the drill will focus an aerial manoeuvres and include fighter jets and bombers of the Eastern Military District (VVO).

Military aircraft in the Primorye and the Khabarovsk Territory, part of Russia's Far East Federal District, will participate in the drills.

Primorye, also known as Primorsky Krai, shares a short border with North Korea.

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MISSILE MIGHT

Nuclear disarmament campaigner John Hallam said Russia had fired off missiles and the world didn't seem to notice, yet when North Korea did it was a totally different story.

Mr Hallam said Russia's missile technology was far more advanced than North Korea's and its missiles could do plenty more that Pyongyang's couldn't.

He said if the world reacted to Pyongyang's missile the way it did to Moscows', the temperature would be brought down on the Korean Peninsula almost immediately.

Russia's defence ministry said its latest missile test was part of efforts to develop new technologies for piercing missile defences, but gave no further details.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia. Photo / AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia. Photo / AP

However Russia long has voiced concern about NATO's UN-led missile defence plans, which it described as a threat to its security, and pledged to deploy weapons capable of penetrating it.

In a separate development, the military also launched large-scale manoeuvres in Siberia involving the Yars missile launchers along with support vehicles. It said 4000 troops will be involved.

The Yars, the most advanced nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles in the Russian military arsenal, is mounted on a heavy truck, making it more difficult for an enemy to spot and destroy it.

The ministry said the exercise will involve the missiles' deployment and feature action to protect them from enemy scouts and precision strikes.

WAR GAMES

Russia has been flexing its military muscle amid the heightened tensions along the Korean Peninsula.

Russia and Belarus last week wrapped up their massive week-long war games that caused jitters in some NATO countries, including Poland and the Baltics.

The Russian military has intensified its combat training amid tensions with NATO over Ukraine.

The missile tests also come amid heighten tensions across Europe and the Korean Peninsula.

Soldiers during a counter-terrorism simulation exercise by the Russian Navy's Baltic Fleet anti-terror forces at Khmelevka. Photo / Getty Images
Soldiers during a counter-terrorism simulation exercise by the Russian Navy's Baltic Fleet anti-terror forces at Khmelevka. Photo / Getty Images

Earlier this month Russia left Eastern Europe rattled over controversial military drills which the Kremlin claimed was all about defence.

The Zapad (West) 2017 Russian exercises in Belarus raised eyebrows in Poland and the other Baltic States.

Involving 12,700 troops, 70 aircraft, 250 tanks and 10 warships, Moscow said the joint exercises were "long-planned and defensive" and "not aimed against any third country."

It also insists that the joint exercises with Belarus were "long-planned and defensive" and "not aimed against any third country."

However Germany said the real number of troops involved was around 100,000.

- with the Associated Press