US and South Korean militaries will go ahead with massive sea, land and air exercises later this month, despite a spiraling situation in which North Korea has threatened to fire missiles towards a US Pacific territory. The annual joint exercises, named Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, have long been planned for 21-31 August, but now come at a time when both

Washington and Pyongyang are on heightened alert, raising the spectre of a mishap or overreaction. The timing is doubly concerning as it is within a timeframe in which Pyongyang says it will be ready to fire four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles toward the US-run island of Guam, an unusually specific threat against the US. CONTINUE