Despite a series of increasingly dire North Korean prophecies, international reaction has been largely calm. Many suspect the North's threats are Kim Jong-un's way of proving himself.
Calling off the missile test – which had nothing to do with North Korea – is just one way the US is quietly trying to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea claims to have made progress on miniaturized nuclear devices. Some experts credit that claim, but much of what North Korea can or can't do remains unknown.
Remarks by a South Korean official led some Seoul-based journalists to write that another nuclear test by North Korea might be imminent. But there's been some backtracking since then.
The exceptional length of the shutdown so far could signal that inter-Korean relations have entered a new low.
Chinese President Xi Jinping took an unusually harsh tone this weekend on the North Korea crisis, saying that no country should be allowed to upset world peace.
Though he doesn't foresee North Korea taking serious military action, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Pentagon has bolstered its missile defenses to be prepared.
North Korea is warning that it can no longer guarantee diplomats' safety in Pyongyang as international tensions mount.
Writing in Cuban state media, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro warned North Korea, a Cuban ally, against nuclear war. He called the situation on the Korean Peninsula 'incredible and absurd.'
Secretary of State John Kerry will start a trip to China, South Korea, and Japan next week. Now that the US has taken military precautions, he's expected to speak softly.