A leading research fellow has said the addition of Donald Trump to the North Korea powderkeg had taken the situation to a new pitch of severity.
The regime in Pyongyang has threatened "thousands-fold" revenge on the US for new sanctions it has sponsored in response to its ongoing nuclear programme.
The country made clear it would not negotiate over nuclear weaponry while it feels threatened by America.
Aiden Foster-Carter, who studies modern Korea at Leeds University, said while North Korea is a "dog which barks itself hoarse", Donald Trump has changed things.
He told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "Korea, normally, has been a strange kind of crisis which involved a lot of crying wolf.
"If you just listened to North Korea’s rhetoric along, you’d believe we’re at war all the time because they’re continually breathing fire.
"This is the dog that barks itself hoarse. This makes it hard to determine what the real situation is.
"The difference we’ve got is a new president in the US, who does things differently for better or for worse than any of his predecessors and seems to be not quite in the same language as the North Koreans."