North Korea has been a thorn in the side of the international community for over fifty years, and that most likely won’t end any time soon. The North Korean regime is led by Kim Jung-un, the inexperienced and youthful son of former dictator Kim Jung-il. Kim Jung-un is in charge of a militaristic nation that gives the military leaders huge influence. North Korea has been escalating its rhetoric over the past few months, which isn’t surprising, considering Kim Jung-un’s need to prove himself to the North Korean generals.  There’s a firm precedent in place in which North Korea threatens South Korea and America, and then negotiations take place. The United States ends up sending fuel and food to North Korea in exchange for concessions with their nuclear program. The rogue state holds the region’s security hostage in order for aid, which it wouldn’t need if it didn’t spend such a large portion of its economic output on military expenditures.

It isn’t a rare occurrence for North Korea to threaten America and South Korea, but its threats have become oddly specific recently. It has stated its intent to fire nuclear missiles at Guam and Hawaii in addition to aiming at their southern neighbor. There have been several indicators that North Korea is becoming increasingly serious, such as its cancellation of the 1953 armistice that ‘ended’ the Korean War. The most serious incident that shows the North Korean regime’s interest in increasing the tension on the peninsula is the closing of the Kaesong Industrial Complex. This complex, located in North Korea, is a joint business venture between North and South Korea that employs roughly 50,000 North Korean citizens. It’s a major source of revenue for the dictatorship, which shows its commitment to its current course of action.

This will most likely end without violence, but there is a chance that a miscommunication could result in conflict. There have been reports that North Korea is preparing a missile test that the United States might try to intercept mid-flight; if that occurs, then North Korea might respond. That is the most probable situation in which war might break out.