More recently, North Korean missiles have landed in the Sea of Japan, with some falling in Japan's exclusive economic zone that stretches as much as 200 nautical miles from its shores.
Media and conservative politicians in South Korea have asked for a "nuclear balance" on the peninsula amid escalating tensions between Pyongyang and America.
The 2017 wargames were planned before the outbreak of the current crisis and won't be rescheduled, military officials in the South Korean capital, Seoul, told AP.
The North also said its Hwasong-12 missiles would fly over southern Japan en route toward Guam, which would be the first time a North Korean missile flew over the country.
The exercises are an annual event, but come as Pyongyang says it is readying a plan to fire off four "Hwasong-12" missiles toward the US island territory and major military hub.
The KPA spokesman said in a statement it was "carefully examining" a recommendation by Kim Jong-un for "a powerful and effective action plan for containing the USA imperialists' aggression hardware". "There's even a THAAD system in South Korea now".
Previously, Seoul and Washington have described the "Ulchi-Freedom Guardian" drills as a deterrence against an aggressive North. "Some people think this is another one of the threats by North Korea and are not taking it very seriously", Analista said in a phone interview with DZMM on Thursday morning. It was occupied by the Japanese for three years during World War II - the only U.S. territory to be invaded - and the July 21 Liberation Day holiday is one of Guam's biggest celebrations.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to calm tensions after Trump's remarks, saying "Americans should sleep well at night".
The "Ulchi-Freedom Guardian" exercises are held annually and cause outrage from North Korea, with Pyongyang calling them preparation for war.
North Korea talk drags stocks lower; gold, yen rise
Japan is the world's biggest creditor country and there is an assumption that investors there will repatriate funds in a crisis. Crude futures meanwhile extended losses on fears of slowing demand and lingering concerns over global oversupply.
"North Korea's most recent threat to target Guam is unsafe and it further heightens tensions in our region", Bordallo said.
Conservative lawmakers in Seoul in recent days have even called for a "nuclear balance" on the peninsula, saying Seoul should ask Washington to redeploy USA nuclear weapons if South Korea is unable to develop its own.
Trump's bluster, however, stands in stark contrast to an ongoing back channel for negotiations between the United States and North Korea, which came to light Friday. "We know that any moment, they could send those (weapons). but I think a lot of us in the end are not too anxious". It is also mulling the acquisition of munitions that would allow it to strike North Korea missile sites. "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen", Trump said.
The latest war of words between Trump and the North - ruled by young leader Kim Jong-Un - unnerved many in the South, even though it has become largely used to hostile rhetoric from its neighbour.
That's if members of the North Atlantic Council make the political decision that a strike against the island would invoke the key "Article 5" of NATO's collective defence strategy that deems an attack against a member state an attack against all.
'A catastrophe is looming, ' the South's top-selling Chosun daily said in an editorial this week. The U.S. recaptured the territory three years later.
AN ATTACK on the tiny Pacific territory of Guam could escalate to draw in the world's most powerful nations within 24 hours under a rarely-used clause of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance.
"Putting these things all together and making them work is extremely challenging, and they haven't yet demonstrated a capability to produce a reliable re-entry vehicle, which is what houses the actual nuclear device", he said.
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