For the past couple of days there have been reports of a US Navy carrier battle group steaming for North Korea. The formation is now said to be off the Korean coast. At the same time secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, announced that Washington and Beijing have reached some pact on dealing with the errant tyro, Kim Jong-un.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Chinese troops are massing on the North Korean border.
China and South Korea have agreed to take new measures against North Korea if the rogue state conducts another nuclear or intercontinental missile test, Chinese media has reported.
As concern mounts that North Korea will use a national commemoration on Saturday to conduct its sixth nuclear test, claims the Chinese army has amassed 150,000 troops including medical teams on the border with North Korea have been repeated on the front page of China's state-owned Global Times newspaper.
China's Foreign Ministry declined to comment. On Friday the Chinese government ordered Chinese trading companies to return North Korean coal cargos, to comply with UN sanctions.
Meanwhile, some 50 miles from North Korea, the US Air Force base at Osan is on high alert.
What is often overlooked is that when sizeable military forces reach a certain level of readiness and deployment, it's often an indication that the decision to act has already been taken.