North Korea Military Parade

North Korean armored vehicles move through Pyongyang in a military parade.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North and South Korea tested ballistic missiles hours apart in a display of military might that is sure to exacerbate tensions between the rivals.

Tensions are already high with talks aimed at stripping the North of its nuclear program stalled. South Korea’s presidential office said the country conducted its first underwater-launched ballistic missile test Wednesday. The North tested two short-range ballistic missile earlier in the day.

Experts say the North Korean launches are an effort to apply pressure on the United States in the hopes of winning relief from sanctions aimed at persuading the North to abandon its nuclear arsenal. Meanwhile, observers say South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s government may have been responding to criticism that it’s too soft on the North.

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