Promising to retaliate “one thousand times,” North Korea reacted to new U.N. sanctions restricting its exports to foreign countries, leaving the economically depressed hermit regime to lash out at the United States. While the U.S. is only one of 15 countries on the Security Council, North Korea’s 33-year-old dictator Kim Jong-un blames the U.S., threatening the U.S. with all out nuclear war when he gets a nuclear-packed Intercontinental Ballistic Missile [ICBM]. Promising to never give up his nuke and ballistic missile program, Kim finds himself on the collision course with the U.S. for a preemptive strike. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Sunday, Aug. 6 that the U.S. was preparing for preemptive war should diplomacy fail to bring Kim to the bargaining table. Every North Korean threat hastens the Pentagon’s preparations for preemptive war.

War on the Korean Peninsula was once thought unthinkable since the U.S. battled North Korea, China and the Soviet Union to loggerheads in 1953, eventually ending the conflict with a toothless armistice. China and Russia want peace on the Korean Peninsula but know that Kim’s threat of nuclear war against the U.S. can’t be ignored. Trump has made clear to his Defense Secretary James Mattis that the U.S. won’t let Kim get a nuclear-packed ICBM. “There’s no bigger mistake than the United States believing its land is safe across the ocean,” said North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Hong-ho, putting the U.S. on notice thati it’s in Pyongyang’s crosshairs. Saying the U.S, will “pay the price for its crimes a thousand times,” North Korea continues the bluster. Pentagon officials can only take Pyongyang at its word and prepare quickly for preemptive war.

North Korea’s Foreign Minister meeting in Manilla at the Association of Southeastern Nations, North Korea expressed zero interest in negotiating it nuke and ballistic missile program. “We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic missiles on the negotiating table,” said Ri, telling the Pentagon to jump in a lake. Trump officials are dealing with same recalcitrance faced by former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, both allowed North Korea to continue developing its nuke and ballistic missile program with impunity. All past U.N. sanctions and attempts at negotiation failed to get North Korea to give up in nuke and ballistic missile program. With North Korea directly threatening the U.S. with nuclear war, Trump must plan for every contingency. Whether or not South Korea objects, the threat to the U.S. has become inescapable.

Voting 15 to zero for new sanctions, Aug 5, Kim directs all his ire to the U.S., when in fact China and Russia refused to veto the resolution. Without saying it, China and Russia are no longer willing to rush to Kim’s defense, though both countries oppose regime change. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Aug. 6 that the U.S. doesn’t seek regime change in Pyongyang but would certainly prefer Kim out. Drawing his line in the sand, Trump has put his National Security Adviser and Defense Secretary on notice to prepare for preemptive wars against Pyongyang, regardless of objections from South Korea, China and Russia. No sovereign power can be threatened with nuclear war without planning how to neutralize the threat. North Korea blames the U.S. for the new sanctions that greatly cripple the country’s ability to engage in normal international trade.

North Korea seeks nothing less than to nuclear blackmail the U.S. should it get its nuclear-packed ICBM. Most weapons experts don’t believe North Korea has the technology yet but is well on its way to get. Getting help from rogue elements in Pakistan’s nuclear program, North Korea has made progress toward its goal of a nuclear-fitted ICBM. Unlike past presidents, Trump promised he’d “handle” North Korea’s nuke and ballistic missile program, raising the possibility of preemptive war. Fearing retaliation in South Korea and Japan, the U.S. now looks to deal with its own threats to the U.S. homeland. Calling the sanctions more “heinous than ever, placing a total ban on normal trade and economic exchange,” North Korea accused the U.S. of essentially declaring war. North Korea’s belligerent rhetoric shows that it’s pressing ahead with in nuke and ballistic missile program.

Ratcheting up the Cold War rhetoric, North Korea has no intention of negotiating away its nuke and ballistic weapons program. Kim believes that only nukes and ICBMs can threaten the U.S. enough to back down on a potential attack. Trump has nuclear weapons at his disposal to deal with North Korea should he see fit. So far, the talk has been about a conventional preemptive attack to knockout Kim’s nuke sites and command-and-control centers. If Kim presses the issue, he can expect his presidential palace and other sacred monuments to be destroyed in an initial attack. Threatening the U.S. with nuclear war has been a serious miscalculation to the 33-year-old erratic dictator. Trump’s got few options left on the table, given that Kim refuses of give up his nuke and ICBM program. One more nuclear test could push things to the brink.