If the North Korea's nuclear capability is a shield, this reflects the regime's paranoia or chronic insecurity, and weapons are being developed as a deterrent. If it is a sword, the nuclear capacity is for aggressive purposes and part of an offensive war stratagem, perhaps reuniting the Korean peninsula.
As an expat living in South Korea, the North Korean threat is always present. I would be stupid not to take notice. Lately, the threats have been more jarring than in years past. However, like many Koreans, most of the expat community shrugs it off, likening the threats to whining from a petulant child.