The panel of experts in charge of the Doomsday Clock says the situation that's playing out in North Korea is one of many situations they feared when they moved the clock closer to midnight earlier this year.
"Given the events of today, there's no question in my mind that we are much closer to a nuclear crisis than really at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962."
The hysterics over North Korea are overblown. In international relations, actions speak louder than words. Nothing has actually changed, although President Trump's rhetoric is unusual and extreme. The president is being his usual self and, at this point, most world leaders have learned to not take what he says too seriously.
His advisers are projecting a much more calm and strategic approach. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a press briefing:
We do not seek a regime change, we do not seek a collapse of the regime, we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula, we do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th Parallel.
North Korea's threat shouldn't be taken too seriously either. The statement that it is studying how to launch a preemptive strike on Guam is just posturing. It released a video of San Francisco being attacked by nuclear missiles as the grand finale of Kim Il Sung’s 105th birthday. This is not a subtle country.
There is no need to worry until we see actual signs that something is happening.