The drill coincides with the four-day "Ulji Freedom Guardian" military manoeuvres on August 21-24, which are held yearly and include joint exercises by the USA and South Korean armed forces, as well as drills for emergencies.
North Korea's military is "examining the operational plan" to strike areas around the USA territory of Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic missiles, state-run news agency KCNA said early Wednesday local time.
President Donald Trump on Friday again delivered a warning to North Korea, tweeting that the USA military is "locked and loaded" if the isolated rogue nation acts "unwisely", escalating an exchange of threats between the nuclear-armed nations.
WASHINGTON and Seoul have agreed to inform each other before taking any steps towards containing North Korea, suggesting the United States would not pre-emptively strike the North before informing South Korea's military command.
SEOUL - A North Korean defected to South Korea on Friday after crossing the western sea border, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said. Leader Kim Jong Un would then decide whether to proceed with the strike on the USA territory.
"North Korea must make the right choice now and go for denuclearization", Cho added, suggesting the door for dialogue remains open between the two countries. "It's a statement", Trump said as quoted by Reuters.
Trump declined to say whether the U.S.is considering a pre-emptive military strike as he spoke to reporters before a briefing with his top national security advisers.
The term "locked and loaded", popularized in the 1949 war film "Sands of Iwo Jima" starring American actor John Wayne, refers to preparations for shooting a gun.
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China's Xi says peaceful resolution needed for N.Korea nuclear issue
Long standing tensions between the country have been rising ever since North Korea tested two intercontinental missiles in July. They weren't authorized to discuss the confidential exchanges and spoke on condition of anonymity.
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Now it's August and intelligence sources report that North Korea has a miniaturized nuclear warhead that could be placed atop an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Rena Chang, who owns a hair salon in the tourist area of Tumon, says: "That's so scary".
With liberals back in charge in South Korea, Seoul is making peace offerings to its archrivals, but the North isn't biting. "In this regard, North Korea's recently issued statements of threats are in direct opposition to the worldwide community's consensus, and must stop immediately". Or at least that's the rhetoric coming from Pyongyang.
The exercises were scheduled well before tensions began to rise over Trump's increasingly fiery rhetoric and North Korea's announcement of the missile plan, which if carried out would be its most provocative launch yet. Neither the United States nor North Korea has embraced the plan. Three weeks later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage was legal throughout the U.S., including all its territories. Hundreds of thousands of troops and huge arsenals are arrayed on both sides of the tense demilitarized zone between the two Koreas.
Seoul is expanding its participation in a nationwide civil defence drill, set to take place on August 23, Shim Kang-cheon, a local Seoul government official, told Reuters.
The United Nations this month tightened sanctions on Pyongyang after it tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles created to carry nuclear warheads to the United States. Spain's colonial rule continued until the US took control in 1898 during the Spanish-American War.
Like other US territories, Guam has a sometimes complicated relationship with the USA mainland but many across the island say despite the threats and concerns they feel reassured and protected by the military - especially in times of tense, geopolitical sparring. Trump said. He did not specify what they might be. Al-Qaida attacked the USA on September 11, 2001, launching the forever war against terrorism. Trump on Thursday again urged China to do more to resolve the situation.