How do we know ballistic middle tests are all tests when launched and not a single one is a legit attack with an immediate counter measure response?

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How do we know ballistic middle tests are all tests when launched and not a single one is a legit attack with an immediate counter measure response?

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Typically, the country doing the test would let the others know, roughly, the what when and where of the test, so that there are no misunderstandings. With a surprise test? I’m not sure exactly.

Since ballistic missile follow a ballistic trajectory you predict where they are headed short time after the launch.

Missile tests and rocket launches in general are announced significantly in advance with an expected course

Russia doesn’t have to worry when they see an Ohio class off Hawaii at the designated point launch a missile that heads up along the designated course towards the arctic. They would need to worry if an unexpected launch came out of Minnesota

For the Great Powers, the launch tests are announced to each other in advance. For the smaller countries, like North Korea, the launches are monitored and their rough target area can be computed a minute into the launch. That is a side effect of the missile being ballistic.

So long as the projected target area is an expected location, nobody gets particularly concerned.