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.