North Korea’s nuclear provocations are said to be an undeniably potential threat to the United States and its allies – particularly South Korea and Japan. The United Nations has so far failed to stop the isolated nation’s missile tests by placing harsh economic sanctions for more than a decade.

The leader of the country, Kim Jong-un, has daringly responded to the sanctions to date by testing the provocative missiles. North Korea fired a medium-range missile a few days ago in response to the U.N.’s latest sanction to cap the nation’s oil markets, ban textile exports, stop joint venture and sanction government-owned entities.

The “hyper pressure approach” by President Donald Trump, which includes the sanctions, has “even more provoked” North Korea for testing longer-and-medium-range missiles, said Yun Sun, senior associate with the East Asia Program at the Washington-based Stimson Center, a non-partisan policy research center focusing on nuclear policy. “In North Korea’s perception, denuclearization is unlikely to happen,” she added.

Undoubtedly, the excoriating pressures have economically slammed North Korea – including being cut off from global chain of trade – to a significant extent. Nevertheless, the current revelation indicates that North Korea won’t give up its nuclear ambitions, and it’s tough to predict how both North Korea and the United States will eventually end up.

Trump had threatened the nation with “fire and furry” in response to a threat from North Korea to strike Guam. While a nuclear war between the two countries isn’t imaginable, both side’s provocative acts may lead to a very destructive conflict, the likes of which the world has never seen.    

Kim is believed to own 15-45 nuclear weapons, and his regime is continuing to produce more nuclear materials including plutonium, said Matthew Bunn, Boston-based nuclear and energy policy analyst and a professor of practice at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. As many as 15,000 nuclear weapons have so far been manufactured by the superpowers mostly Russia, the United States and China. In addition, both the United States and China are now stepping forward to modernize their nuclear weapons, spending trillions of dollars to catch up or back down Russia, he added.

Aside from North Korea’s nuclear threats, Pakistan, which sponsors some of the terrorist organizations in the South Asia, has the world’s fastest-growing nuclear arsenal. The United States and world fear of the potential accessibility of Pakistan-supported terrorists to the country’s nuclear weapons. The world, specifically the United States, must keep a close eye on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal before the terrorists acquire a one.

Also, the continuing skirmishes between two nuclear-armed powers – India and Pakistan – along their bordering areas is sending alarms that Pakistan might go ahead and use a nuclear bomb. That could be very unlikely, but a few minds in the parliament of Pakistan had suggested striking India with a nuclear weapon.  

Amid the nuclear threats, the world is now “far more secure than it was 25 years ago,” Bunn said. Global nuclear weapon stockpiles are now down by about 85 percent and more than half of the global states with potential to produce an atomic bomb have eliminated their nuclear materials for the sake of the world peace, he added.