These tests are a continuation of North Korea’s unpredictability and repeated threats, which have put the stability of the region at risk. Extended deterrence by the US and South Korea is the only option until Kim is willing to return to the negotiating table.
The US can’t deny that it bears the main responsibility for declining diplomatic relations with North Korea, especially as the Biden administration has switched back to a confrontational course following former Pres. Trump's efforts at de-escalation. By fueling conflict, the US hopes to establish closer ties with Japan and South Korea to cut into China’s regional influence.
There’s a 39% chance that North Korea will possess enough fissile material to make at least 100 warheads by 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.