* Despite the appearance of thawing tensions with North Korea, both Washington and Pyongyang have made several steps that suggest things could escalate soon.
* The US has quietly moved heavy firepower like nuclear bombers and aircraft carriers to the region.
* On the sidelines of important diplomatic meetings, talk of military action has been ever present, if not front and center.
While most of the world celebrates the progress from pre-Olympic inter-Korean talks and the apparent thaw in tensions between North Korea and the world, the US has taken steps to move heavy firepower to the region.
Though the US called off regularly scheduled military drills until the end of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and Paralympics in March, elsewhere they have trained for scenarios that seem tailor made for fighting North Korea.
New York Times reports that 48 Apache gunships and Chinook helicopters drilled in Fort Bragg on how to move troops under artillery fire, and that next month soldiers will drill on setting up mobilization centers to quickly send forces over seas.
Surviving artillery fire and mastering the tricky logistics of an overseas deployment would be key skills needed if conflict broke out with North Korea, as Pyongyang maintains a massive range of artillery guns pointing at Seoul, South Korea's capital with 25 million people.
Besides the drills, the US has positioned both its nuclear-capable bombers in Guam for the second time ever, just a short flight from North Korea.
In addition to the usual forward-deployed USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in Japan, the USS Carl Vinson has also headed into the Pacific, while smaller carriers the USS Wasp and the USS Bonhomme Richards also patrol the waters.
While the US military maintains these exercises are routine and unrelated to North Korea, the increased tensions with Pyongyang bring scrutiny to every move.
Quiet, too quiet
While Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attended a meeting of 20 ministers this week in Vancouver, Canada to discuss sanctions implementation on North Korea, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis joined and briefed the ministers on the US's plan for military strikes.
When news of the inter-Korean talks dominated usually bleak headlines about North Korea, Trump's National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster met with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts and dismissed the talks as "diversions."
On the North Korean side, things are also not as they seem. Although the inter-Korean talks will now continue regularly and indefinitely, most experts agree that Pyongyang will soon launch a satellite. Additionally, North Korea may hold a military parade in the days before the Olympics begin.
Although few expect the US to initiate conflict with North Korea while civilians from around the world gather in Northern South Korea to watch one of the world's most important sporting events, a satellite launch provides a suitable target for a "bloody nose" strike, which the US is reportedly considering.
After a year in office, President Donald Trump's foreign policy has an established history of upsetting norms. After a successful strike on Syria in April 2017, and a handful of unilateral foreign policy decisions going unpunished by supposedly riled actors, Trump's White House may soon feel emboldened to make a statement.