When North Korea conducted its first nuclear test on October 9, 2006, the country faced much censure from the US and Western powers. However, under their current supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, North Korea has been aggressively following its nuclear ambitions. It conducted four such tests during a period of four years; the latest – a hydrogen bomb – it tested on September 3, 2017. The China Earthquake Administration detected an earthquake of 6.3 on the Richter scale while an earthquake-monitoring agency in Norway estimated a yield of 120 kilotons. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima weighed 15 kilotonnes. The game of nuclear warfare has surely changed. North Korea’s many nuclear tests are not just a testament of the country possessing nuclear arsenal; it is also a threat to its enemies to stay out of its borders. However, Washington will be concerned over North Korea’s motivations and desires behind such tests. It is obvious North Korea is advancing its own technology while conducting these tests. According to Joel Wit, Senior Fellow at US-Korea Institute at School of Advanced International Studies, “The North Koreans are not just testing to say something — there’s a reason for testing. Any country that builds nuclear weapons proceeds down predictable technological paths. With every trial of a weapon, they’re trying to learn something new.” Such North Korean intentions do not bode well for the region. The US may be monitoring every move Pyongyang makes, now that it has publicly stated its intentions to the world. Officials of the US intelligence are questioning if North Korea would modify its missile warheads. Such missiles have a range to touch South Korea and Japan – North Korea’s nemesis. Moreover, these missiles can also reach US mainland if Washington aggressively provokes Kim Jong-un. However, Kim Jong-un may not use these weapons for he is adamant at securing his rule over the country. The US, on the other hand, despite its ability to conduct drone strikes must think consciously about the consequences it might face in case it strikes North Korea’s missile zones. A more drastic plan for the US would be to strike on North Korea’s missiles installed at its launch site. However, evacuating the North Koreans prior to this attack will add another plot into the US-North Korea narrative that will only destabilise the East Asia region. On September 6, 2017, President Trump circulated among members of the United Nations Security Council a draft resolution suggesting all countries should breakoil supply to North Korea. The US must bring North Korea on to the negotiation table and discuss repercussions of its nuclear tests. However, since Kim Jong-un in not intending to come anywhere near the negotiating table, the US may need to use other diplomatic measures. However, it is feared that Washington’s plan B, to attack North Korea, may not bode well as North Korea may retaliate by conducting more nuclear tests or rusting its relations with South Korea and Japan. While the world looks curiously at North Korea’s future, President Trump, shockingly, criticised South Korea for its inability to counter North Korea. Such rhetorical statements by President Trump against South Korea will put the President in further trouble. Moreover, China, being the only ally of North Korea, will also be on President Trump’s diplomatic plans. President Trump also said that the US plans to stop all trade with any country doing business with North Korea. Although he did not specifically mention China, it is evident that China-US ties are going to face turbulence in the days to come. As the world looked curiously at North Korea’s future, President Trump, shockingly, criticised South Korea for its inability to counter North Korea. Such rhetorical statements will only put the President in further trouble Following China’s agreement over imposing UN sanctions on North Korea, South Korea has deployed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), a US manufactured anti-ballistic missile defense system in its rural town of Seongju. It will protect South Korea from North Korea’s impending missile attack. Even Russian President, Vladimir Putin, while addressing the Eastern Economic Forum, advised that the US should not to play with North Korea. He remarked, “It’s counterproductive to inflate this military hysteria. This leads nowhere”. Russia may enter the US-North Korea equation following the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, urging Putin to ban all oil exports to North Korea. While the US and Russia are in a tussle of their own, Russia siding with South Korea and standing against North Korea will create a sort of bloc where Russia will be working in unison with South Korea, Japan, and the US to curtail Pyongyang. Will this bloc be enough to restrict North Korea or will Kim Jong-un continue with his efforts of transforming North Korea into a nuclear-rice country while defying Western orders and qualms? The writer is a columnist and an author Published in Daily Times, September 12th 2017.