North Korea fired a salvo of test missiles into its coastal waters, flexing naval muscles as South Korea launched its most advanced destroyer ever, armed with a high-tech US air defense system.
The moves Friday came amid a continued standoff over implementing communist North Korea's promise to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, and just days before the divided Koreas are scheduled to hold high-level reconciliation talks in Seoul.
But reaction was muted - unlike the response last July to the North's test of a long-range missile capable of hitting Japan and perhaps parts of the United States, or in October to the North's underground explosion of a nuclear weapon.
South Korea said Friday's missile test apparently was part of the North's annual military exercises and involved short-range missiles, adding the firings were unlikely to derail next week's talks.
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