Washington: North Korea`s belligerent words and war-like preparations are more bluff than bite, according to a senior Obama administration official.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said North Korea is in a mindset of war, but it is not going to war, reports CBS News.
The official said North Korea is doing two things that signal it is not spoiling for war: maintaining continuous and unfettered access to the Kaesong Industrial Complex six miles north of the Demilitarized Zone, and by continuing to promote tourists visits to North Korea, even amid its banging of war drums.
Kaesong is a hive of business activity and about 200 South Koreans travel there daily. It produces about 2 billion-dollar of annual trade and commerce revenue for the North.
Yet, the official confirmed South Korea reports of increased activity by North Korean military personnel near ballistic missile sites. The official said the activity, though, was believed to be related solely to exercises and training - not actual war preparations.
The official`s comments came amid reports that North Korea announced it was at a "state of war".
In response to those reports, Caitlin Hayden, a National Security Council spokeswoman, said the U.S. takes the threat seriously but also called the North`s statement "unconstructive". Hayden said the US remains fully prepared and capable of defending and protecting the US and its allies.