Following months of escalating tensions and the scrapping of a 50yr.old truce by North Korea, the Sth Korea/US Combined Forces Command has raised its 'Watchcon' status another peg.
'Watchcon 4' operates during peacetime; 'Watchcon 3' reflects indications of an important threat; 'Watchcon 1' is used in wartime. This Watchcon system relates to surveillance levels and is separate from the Defcon military preparedness system, but it still gives an idea of the current situation.
Nth Korea (aka the DPRK) has threatened to nuke the US mainland and destroy its nearby bases and allies...and is expected to test-fire some kick-arse missiles within the next few days.
The Pentagon's warned DPRK it's skating very close to the line, and says its military is ready for any possibility. The Russians too have made it clear they're on the same page as US. Even Nth Korea's ally China is advising DPRK to avoid any provocative moves (such as missile tests) at a time of soaring military tensions.
But last Tuesday the North reiterated the peninsula was headed for thermo-nuclear war, and advised foreigners to get out of Sth Korea. Nth Korea has made the nuke war threat several times in recent months despite experts believing it's nowhere near developing such an advanced nuclear device.
Ever since the change of leadership last year, the gingoistic rhetoric and military tension has risen.
And the big question is: WHY the escalation? Nth Korea is impoverished and famine-struck. It wears the global mantle of 'pariah state'. Because of its nuclear ambitions, it has incurred UN sanctions. It can not afford to bring upon itself any Western wrath of any kind, yet its wet-behind-the-ears leader, Oh Glorious One With The Bad Haircut Kim Jong-Un goose-steps closer to the edge daily!
What DOES he hope to achieve by getting his arse whipped?