America’s annual joint military exercises with South Korea always frustrate North Korea. The war games set to begin Monday may hold more potential to provoke than ever, given President Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” threats and Pyongyang’s as-yet-unpursued plan to launch missiles close to Guam.Will the allies keep it low-key, or focus on projecting strength? An examination of this year’s drills and how the North might respond to them:The war gamesThe Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills, which will run through Aug. 31, will be the first large-scale military exercise between the allies since North Korea successfully flight-tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and threatened to bracket Guam with intermediate range ballistic missile fire earlier this month.Despite some calls to postpone or drastically modify drills to ease the hostility on the Korean Peninsula, U.S. and South Korean military officials say that the long-scheduled exercises will go ahead as planned.
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