As South Korea prepares for retaliation if the North’s threats of attack pan out, the United States has moved USS McCain to waters off the Korean Peninsula. The destroyer has the capacity to intercept and destroy a missile from North Korea. Meanwhile, the South has even altered its rules of engagement to permit local units to respond to attacks without waiting for permission from the capital. North Korea claims that a nuclear war is imminent—despite not taking any real action to signal actual aggression. “If there is any provocation against South Korea and its people, there should be a strong response in initial combat without any political considerations,” President Park Guen-hye said at a meeting with the defense minister and senior officials Monday.