After North Korea and the United States traded bellicose threats of nuclear conflagration, all eyes will be on an annual war game in the South next week that could send tensions spiralling back upwards, analysts say.
Pyongyang tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) last month that appeared to bring much of the US within range, triggering an intense warning by President Donald Trump that Washington could rain “fire and fury” on the North.
Pyongyang then threatened to fire a salvo of missiles towards the US territory of Guam — a plan that leader Kim Jong-Un this week delayed, but warned could go ahead depending on Washington’s next move.
The North’s reaction to the “Ulchi Freedom Guardian” (UFG) joint military exercise that starts Monday will be key to determining what happens next.
The annual drills — described as defensive and named after a general who protected an ancient Korean kingdom from