The Korean peninsula continues to remain tense. Pyongyang has indicated that it is not averse to diplomacy but, its first priority is to make the United States aware of its nuclear capabilities. North Korea wants to send out a message to the Trump administration that it has acquired the power to counter any offensive.

The White House is aware of the possible threat. Chief of staff John Kelly has indicated to reporters that diplomacy is the only solution. He has also admitted that Pyongyang has made progress in its missile programs, and its claims related to ICBMs cannot be taken lightly.

Threats and counter threats

CNN reports that North Korea appears to be confident of striking the United States. Pyongyang claims that it is a couple of steps away from the goal of using an ICBM. The missile has to re-enter the earth's atmosphere without disintegrating, and John Kelly believes that North Korea has acquired the necessary expertise to do that.

Pyongyang has already identified the Pacific island of Guam as one of its targets. There are fears that North Korea could conduct more tests to coincide with the forthcoming US-South Korea joint naval drills which will last for ten days. The North Korean government views these as preparatory work prior to an invasion, while the US insists that it as a routine exercise.

Evacuation of civilians from South Korea is a part of this exercise as revealed by US Forces Korea.

Incidentally, US president Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Asia next month, which could add to tensions in the region. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has assured everyone that there will be no letup in diplomatic efforts in spite of mounting tensions.

Pyongyang wants to call the shots

The verbal duel between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un had become personal leading to the escalation of tension in the Korean peninsula. North Korea is a relatively new entrant in the field of nuclear weapons. Initially, many of its claims were not taken seriously by people in the know. However, over a period of time, it appears to have overcome the obstacles.

It could now be a force to reckon with.

North Korea's deputy Ambassador Kim In Ryong has explained the stand of his country to a UN committee meeting on nuclear issues. He has defended the tests carried out by Pyongyang, and said that the US must first revise its policy before any negotiation can start. North Korea has a wide range of weapons like the atomic bomb, H-bomb, and ICBMs which gives it an edge. Therefore, leaders must avoid provocations of any type to ensure that the situation does not get out of control.