President Trump promised to retaliate with “fire and fury” at even the smallest hint of North Korean aggression.
The rhetoric between the two leaders has somewhat lessened with North Korea agreeing to send a team of athletes to the 2018 Winter Olympics, which is hosted by their neighbours South Korea.
However, Kim Jong-un’s plans to create an arsenal of deadly nuclear weapons is still very much on track, according to author, journalist and political analyst Loretta Napoleoni.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Napoleoni said: “I think they are a nuclear power, so if they haven’t managed to produce a militarisation of the bomb to put on a long-range missile, they’re very close to it.”
The North Korea expert, however, revealed Kim Jong-un’s plan might not actually involve striking Donald Trump’s United States.
“Having said that, I don’t think they have any intention to use it,” Napoleoni added.
“It is a deterrent, and very much what they wanted to achieve in order to make sure that nobody would attack them ever again.
“This is a plan, as I say in the book, that started basically soon after the Korean War, so it’s a long-term project which has now come to the end.”
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has admitted he is “nervous” that he does not know how long it may be until North Korea strikes America with a nuclear weapon.
He said: “It does make us nervous.
“It also stiffens our resolve.
“That kind of threat to the American people by a regime like this is not acceptable.”