During an interview with the BBC on Monday, North Korea's Deputy Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol stressed that any manner of military action by the USA against his country would result in war.
Vice President Mike Pence, visiting the demilitarized zone on Monday, said the United States had no more strategic patience with North Korea was considering military force against the regime.
The US, along with South Korea, should suspend annual military exercises that antagonize North Korea in exchange for Pyongyang halting its nuclear program, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in early March.
The U.S. Vice President reiterated that the "era of strategic patience is over".
"If we notice any sign of assault on our sovereignty, our army will launch merciless military strikes against the U.S. aggressors, wherever they may exist, from the remote United States lands to the American military bases on the Korean Peninsula, such as those of Japan and elsewhere", said Sin.
"And this time, it isn't North Korea with an erratic trigger-happy leader", announced Colbert. "And this bluff is aimed primarily at making China act more decisively towards North Korea", Toloray said.
North Korea revealed new missiles during a large military parade in Pyongyang over the weekend to celebrate the 105th anniversary of founding leader Kim Il-sung. With its horrendous economy, North Korea has few bargaining chips on the worldwide scene, so it's huge military and nuclear capabilities are the only way it commands respect.
That provocation never came, leading observers to take a second look.
The US response to North Korea took a stunning twist yesterday when it was revealed the USS Carl Vinson carrier group Trump was boasting about was actually heading south.More news: Oil stable as OPEC says it is committed to rebalance markets
In many ways, North Korea is threatening the USA and its allies for the same reason it has in the past: It wants to be taken seriously as a mighty world power.
Experts point out that China also wants to prevent North Korea from becoming a full-fledged nuclear power - and certainly wants to prevent a war on its southern border that could send millions of refugees flooding into China and potentially risk bringing a U.S. military presence to China's borders.
The probability of Aegis interceptors missing a North Korean target would be embarrassing for the USA and embolden Pyongyang.
The escalating tensions may also be in line with North Korea's tendency to ramp up nuclear threats during transitions in South Korean leadership.
Trump has been lauding Beijing for helping with the Pyongyang situation, especially over sending back North Korean vessels bringing coal to a Chinese port.
In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters he hopes "there will be no unilateral actions like those we saw recently in Syria and that the USA will follow the line that President Trump repeatedly voiced during the election campaign".
"If the figure of speech used by the U.S. Vice President can be understood as a threat of a unilateral military solution, it is a highly risky path", Lavrov said according to a release from the Moscow's Foreign Ministry.
Economic sanctions on North Korea have very serious humanitarian consequences and would put North Korean lives in serious danger.