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settle accounts?

On Thursday, the North threatened to "settle accounts" and said it had put missiles on stand-by to hit the US.
What does settle accounts mean? And the word account?

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    It means that, to them, we owe them something (in this case, to suffer), and they are going to make us pay (by which they mean, make us suffer).

    It would be scary if their missile targeting system wasn't so bad, as they couldn't hit space if they tried, but that is beside the point.

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