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Beijing/Seoul — The US and South Korea will go ahead with joint military drills next week, the top US military official said on Thursday, resisting pressure from North Korea and its ally China to halt the contentious exercises. North Korea’s rapid progress in developing nuclear weapons and missiles capable of reaching the US mainland has fuelled a rise in tensions in recent months. US President Donald Trump warned North Korea last week it would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the US, prompting North Korea to say it was considering plans to fire missiles at the US Pacific territory of Guam. Annual military drills involving tens of thousands of US and South Korean troops are due to begin on Monday. North Korea views such exercises as preparations to invade it. China, North Korea’s main ally and trading partner, has urged the US and South Korea to scrap the drills in exchange for North Korea calling a halt to its weapons programmes. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs...

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