(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.
DC Download is a week-in-review featuring the latest news from Capitol Hill published every Friday. Get the latest political news at onPolitix.com, and join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
Police say a 2-year-old and a 23-year-old Navy sailor based in Virginia were killed in a crash on Interstate 64 in southern Indiana near Corydon.
A pet adoption discount is helping animals in Hampton Roads find new homes.
Newport News police officers are in the middle of a massive operation to get wanted criminals out of the neighborhoods. They are rounding up everyone who has an outstanding warrant.
Hampton Roads Transit customers could see higher fares to ride the bus, light rail and ferry.
Running a red light could cost you a hefty fine, even if an officer doesn't pull you over. Cameras are going up at intersections across Hampton Roads, and the most recent went live Monday in downtown Norfolk.
Some local families who lost a loved one during active duty military service boarded a special flight out of Norfolk Thursday morning.
Thousands of EMTs and paramedics checked their bank accounts Thursday for one last scheduled payment from the company that suddenly laid them off, but found nothing.