As North plans missile launch, US, S. Korea ready war games

In this Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, file photo, U.S. soldiers fire a cannon and salute during a change of command and change of responsibility ceremony for

A visitor tours near a window with a sign "Pyongyang" at the N Seoul Tower in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. Not backing down, U.S. Presid

A giant North Korean flag, left, atop a 160-meter (525-foot) tower in North Korea and a South Korean flag, right, atop of a 100-meter (328-foot) tower

Incoming Deputy Commander Gen. Kim Byung-joo speaks during a change of command and change of responsibility ceremony for Deputy Commander of the South

U.N. Command honor guards carry flags of the United States, the United Nations and South Korea during a change of command and change of responsibility

U.S. Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of Combined Forces Command, center, salutes with incoming Deputy Commander Gen. Kim Byung-joo, left rear, and outg

U.S. Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of Combined Forces Command, speaks during a change of command and change of responsibility ceremony for Deputy Com

A replica of canons used by the Spanish from the Spanish occupation on Guam in the 19th century is seen outside of government offices in Hagatna, Guam

FILE - In this file image made from video by North Korea's KRT released on July 28, 2017, North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, second from right, gestures

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Military officials say they plan to move ahead with large-scale U.S.-South Korea exercises later this month that North Korea, which is finalizing plans to launch a salvo of missiles toward Guam, claims are a rehearsal for war.

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 tiny island, which is U.S. territory and major military hub. The plan would be sent to leader Kim Jong Un for approval just before or as the U.S.-South Korea drills begin.

The exercises are expected to run from Aug. 21-31 and involve tens of thousands of troops on the ground and in the sea and air. Washington and Seoul say they're meant as a deterrent against North Korean aggression.