Leader Kim Jong-un could now seek to further fan World War 3 concerns with new nuclear and missile test to showcase North Korea’s military might.
Dr Matthew Kroenig said: “I think more tests are likely inevitable, unfortunately.
“Kim Jong-un would like to have a demonstrated ability to hold the United States homeland at risk with the threat of nuclear war.”
But Dr Kroenig – who has served in several positions within the US Department of Defense – warned Kim is unlikely to heed calls to give up his arsenal.
Speaking to ABS-CBN News, the Georgetown associate professor said: “I think he wants to demonstrate he has an operational nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile and he is not quite there yet.
“Getting there will require more missile tests and more nuclear tests.”
North Korea recently accepted offers to reopen diplomatic channels with South Korea by accepting to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics scheduled for February in PyeongChang.
But despite Kim Jong-un’s diplomatic turn, President Trump deployed nuclear bombers to the Andersen Air Force Base on Guam to monitor North Korea during the Olympics.
The US overseas territory of Guam stands barely 3,430km (2131 miles) from North Korea and has been previously under threat of missile attacks from Pyongyang.
The nuclear-capable B-2 Spirit bombers join several conventional B-1 Lancer bombers on Guam in support of US Pacific Command’s deterrence and assurance mission in the Pacific.
In a press release, North Korea’s Central News Agency said: “The foreign forces do not want the military tension on the Korean Peninsula to be defused and the emergence of a reunified power there.
“The matter of north-south relations should be settled by the Korean nation itself responsible for it.”
Daniel Sneider of the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Centre has warned that North Korea’s talks with South Korea are a “very clever” tactical decision by Kim Jong-un.
He added that North Korea was using the talks to gain “leverage” and lessen the sanctions against them, something President Trump has warned about.
Sneider said: “I think partly because, correctly, the US president actually said this – They were under a lot of pressure from sanctions and they see the South as a way of maybe gaining some leverage to lessen that kind of pressure.”