“The B-52 deployment also declares loudly and clearly that they have forced the US to play the game of nuclear war with North Korea,” Hayes said. “It tells them it has reached the hallowed status of a nuclear-armed state that matters enough to force a simulated nuclear-military response.”
The possible end-game scenarios to the current crisis are numerous, but none point to an obvious path for defusing the situation peacefully.
Most analysts rule out the prospect of a full-scale war on the grounds that North Korea knows it would lose, just as it knows that launching any sort of nuclear strike would be suicidal.
However, after threatening everything from an artillery assault to nuclear Armageddon, there is also a sense that Kim Jong-un has pushed himself into a corner and must do something to avoid a damaging loss of face and credibility.