US, S. Korea fire missiles to sea, matching North’s launches

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The U.S. and South Korea have launched eight ballistic missiles into the sea in a show of force matching a North Korean display a day earlier that extended a provocative streak in weapons demonstrations.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday’s drill was aimed at demonstrating an ability to respond swiftly and accurately to North Korean attacks. Its launches of eight missiles on Sunday appeared to be a single-day record for North Korea and was its 18th round of missile tests this year.

Experts say the weapons displays are a brinksmanship ploy to bring the United States back to their stalled diplomacy from a position of strength and to cement North Korea’s status as a nuclear power.

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