Last week, to the alarm of countries in the region, North Korea launched three ballistic missiles, including an ICBM.
That also prompted a resolution for new sanctions on the North in the UN Security Council, but it was vetoed by China and Russia.
Now, at any time, the North is reportedly prepared to do a nuclear test.
There's been speculation, as has been the case in the past, that the test could come on a date significant in the United States, like today May 30th Memorial Day.
To find out what North Korea could be planning and how the world is dealing with the regime, we are pleased to welcome to the studio our go-to expert on the subject, Dr. Go Myong-hyun, senior fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
1) In the United States, it's Memorial Day. People generally get the day off to honor those who've died serving the country in the military. This is one reason why today might be the day North Korea chooses for a provocation, possible a nuclear test. The North did do a nuclear test on Memorial Day back in 2009. What's the thinking in North Korea regarding the timing of its provocations and U.S. holidays?
2) If not Memorial Day, is there another key moment politically or diplomatically?
3) As for missile tests, the Pentagon is saying that these successive tests are worrying because they provide "learning opportunities" for North Korea. Perhaps an illustration of that was the apparent failure recently in testing a Hwasong 17 ICBM. What kind of things is the North learning and what progress do you see?
4) A resolution at the UN Security Council, as expected, failed last week, vetoed by China and Russia. The U.S. wanted to put more sanctions on North Korea. We spoke last week about this the day before it happened. What do you take away from these vetoes by China and Russia, and do you see that changing in the event of a nuclear test?
5) The nuclear envoys of South Korea, the United States and Japan are going to meet this Friday in Seoul to discuss the possibility of a nuclear test. Are they coordinating a response in the event that one occurs?