Ahead of a new round of joint drills between South Korea and the United States that will be kicking off on Monday, North Korea’s regime threatened yet again to launch a missile off the coast of Guam, a tiny U.S. island in the Pacific, home to 160,000 U.S. citizens, along with several key military assets. The new threat was published by North Korea’s state media on Sunday.

According to CNN, North Korea has been very unhappy with the new naval drills, especially because the United States will deploy nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers within the region. Although the U.S. states that the drills are defensive, the rogue nation sees the move as preparation for an attack.

Provocations

In recent months, similar drills led North Korea to carry out its most provocative tests to date. In August, the regime launched two mid-range ballistic [VIDEO] missiles off the coast of the Japanese island of Hokkaido. The missiles traveled over 2,300 miles and fell into the sea of Japan. According to CNN, if North Korea follows through with its intention to launch a missile toward Guam, it would have to travel 2,160 miles before reaching the island.

Over the last two years, following U.S. and South Korean joint military exercises, North Korea conducted two nuclear tests, as well as launched scores of missiles. In 2017 alone, 22 missiles were launched in 15 tests. There were five failures.

Evacuation of Americans from South Korea

The drills set to kick-off on Monday will also simulate the evacuation of Americans from South Korea, in case of war.

According to the New York Times, the move has spread fear among South Koreans that the U.S. may soon carry out an attack against the North. The South Korean President Moon Jae-in repeatedly expressed his opposition to a military solution.

The difficult path to diplomacy

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has long been pursuing a diplomatic solution to placate the rising tensions between the two countries, but President Donald Trump seems to think that diplomacy alone will not work. Recently, he wrote on Twitter that Mr. Tillerson was “wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man” and added that “we’ll do what has to be done!”

In turn, Mr. Tillerson said in an interview with CNN on Sunday that President Trump endorses his diplomatic efforts. “He wants this solved diplomatically. He is not seeking to go to war." Still, according to his words, there are “military options on the table.”