(LIN) — With Congress on break until April 8, the White House has been fighting a different battle this week as threats of an attack from North Korea increase.
Although it isn't clear at this time how substantiated these threats are, White House and Pentagon officials have been taking time this week to make sure the United States is ready for anything that could threaten its viability, or the well-being of its allies.
The latest threats come in the form of a statement published by the North Korean state news agency, quoting a spokesman from the General Staff of the Korean People's Army, saying it is ready to use "cutting-edge, smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means."
"The behavior of the regime in Pyongyang that we are seeing now represents a familiar pattern," said White House press secretary Jay Carney. "So we are taking the necessary precautionary measures, but it is important to view this within the context of the kind of behavior that we've seen out of North Korea in the past."
Those precautionary measures are anything but kept quiet. On Wednesday, the Pentagon announced the movement of an advanced missile defense system to Guam in response to the recent nuclear threats.
Also, a senior White House staffer told CNN that top officials have been meeting more frequently in the Situation Room for the past week and a half.
Obvious response aside, it's clear that the biggest weapon the U.S. is moving right now, is the weapon of communication. By publicly announcing a response to North Korea's threats, the Obama administration is making a statement to both U.S. citizens and North Korea.
What's worth noting is that America has been here before – many times – at a level of heightened rhetoric. North Korea has spouted nuclear threats before, and the U.S. responds whether Americans know about it or not.
In this case, Americans should expect many more headlines with updates on the situation, even if they don't escalate into something greater. With the White House at the helm controlling the message, Americans can expect up-to-the-minute reports on any developments until the situation cools off a little.
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