North Korea says President Donald Trump has declared war and that Pyongyang will shoot down American bombers if it appears they are a threat.
The White House is dismissing this latest pronouncement from North Kore'a foreign minister, but at Stanford University a renowned Korea expert says the heated rhetoric is increasing the chance of a military strike.
Professor Gi-Wook Shin, director of Stanford's Korea project and the head of the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, continues to believe that it won't become a shooting war. But he says the back and forth between the White House and Pyongyang is taking us down a dangerous path.
"Tomorrow morning in Pyongyang they might make an even tougher statement," Shin said.
Shin said we are witnessing the same drama between the United States and North Korea, but the actors have changed and that is making all the difference.
"We know George W. Bush made a speech saying North Korea is part of the axis of evil, but I think Trump went much further attacking M.r Kim personally," Shin said.
The White House press secretary on Monday said that it is absurd to think the US has declared war on North Korea. The president has asked China to intervene with North Korea, but Shin said it is not clear that China has the power or even the inclination to solve what it considers a US problem.
"That's why some people in this country are saying it's time for US to make a bargain with China," Shin said.
Shin said that bargain would have to include the US pulling its troops off the Korean peninsula. Maybe if the US could do that if Kim Jong-un were deposed and the two Korea's were unified.
When asked if China would accept such a deal, Shin quickly said no because China does not trust the US and the US feels the same.
Shin's advice to the White House is to ramp down the rhetoric because it is not helping.