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At a time of heightened awareness—and with U.S. and South Korean militaries in the middle of war games—North Korea has apparently decided that now would be the perfect time to start testing missiles. Good thing no one's taking them that seriously.

South Korean military sources say the North launched several short-range missiles into their East Sea (or the Sea of Japan) on Friday, less than a week after declaring that their armistice with the South is over. Just a day earlier they the North conducted live-fire artillery drills near the Yellow Sea border with the South.

While the launch is not an actual attack, there was always the possibility that it could have been mistaken for one, or at least the preparation stage of one. After all, bigger wars have started over a lot less. Especially when of the parties has been shouting all week about "retaliatory strikes" and "flames of justice." (That's why you need to pick up the phone when the other side calls.) 

Fortunately, the South has so far taken the incident for what it is—a show of bravado—and isn't taking the bait. But it's not going to make it any easier to bring everyone back from the edge.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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