The US is responding to North Korea's bombast as if Pyongyang is capable of making good on its recent threats. Tensions have risen against the backdrop of annual US-South Korean military drills.
Kim Jong-un announced that North Korea will restart its nuclear facility, making the country's nuclear program a source of deep concern for the international community.
After weeks of belligerent talk, North Korea espoused a 'new strategic line,' saying its struggling economy as well as its military strength is a top priority.
Pyongyang has cut the last military hotline to the South and says it's ready to target US bases in Hawaii, Guam, and South Korea. So why is there no sign the North is really girding for war?
Joint US-South Korea military drills yesterday prompted harsh language from North Korea's leader himself today.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently announced plans to cancel a planned US missile defense network in Europe, and instead beef up its interceptors in the Pacific.
What happens now?
Computer networks at major South Korean banks and top TV broadcasters crashed en masse Wednesday, paralyzing bank machines across the country. Immediate suspicion fell on North Korea.
China criticizes US plans to bolster missile defenses in response to provocations by North Korea, saying they would only intensify antagonism.
Skepticism about the effect of the North's dismissal of a cease-fire is grounded in past experience.
This follows threats from Pyongyang last week both to end the armistice and to 'exercise the right to a preemptive nuclear attack.'
The real test will be in China's follow-through on 'little brother' North Korea.
The UN Security Council is expected today to approve a new round of sanctions against Pyongyang in response to its nuclear weapon test last month.
North Korea's military is vowing to cancel the 1953 cease-fire that effectively ended the Korean War, straining frayed ties in the region as the UN moves to impose new sanctions.