The world is on heightened alert after North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb intended to be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile.

This is North Korea's sixth, and most powerful nuclear test to date.

So what does this mean for the United States?

"In many ways, what's going on in North Korea, is not that different than what's been going on for several decades," said Daniel Rothenberg, an ASU Professor and Co-Director of the ASU Center on the Future of War.

Rothenberg specializes in threats of war around the world.

He said while the test is concerning, North Korea has been a nuclear power and shown an aggressive tone toward the rest of the world for a while now. What is new, and what worries Rothenberg, is our government's change in tone.

"The reason this is most concerning is that conflicts can often escalate when those at the top... start speaking in a way that creates greater tension," said Rothenberg.

"Escalation is something we all know about, and we should be very careful about escalation, because it can take us to a path we really can't control. And with the stakes the way they are with such powerful weapons, both conventional and nuclear, this is a circumstance where we should be careful," said Rothenberg.