The hermit state’s nuclear tests and missile launches have escalated the dramatic crisis in the region from bad to worse in recent months.North Korea has repeatedly threatened to reduce its rival and enemy to “ashes and darkness” – and Pyongyang warned of an “unimaginable strike at an unimaginable time” on US targets.
A senior North Korea diplomat also vowed the regime would “fight fire with fire” if the USA were to attack, as she insisted having nuclear weapons was a matter of “life or death” for the region.But as Kim Jong-un continues his terrifying sabre-rattling and Donald Trump threatens the state with “total annihilation”, could the US President spark World War 3?
Nuclear weapons and security experts say the rest of the world really should be worried about the potential fallout from some of the President’s tweets.
Alex Wellerstein, a historian of nuclear weapons, warned Mr Trump’s failure to back down from his aggressive rhetoric could see Pyongyang simply increase its nuclear weapons testing as it deems the USA to remain a significant threat.
He said: “I think the belligerent rhetoric is making it worse. I don’t think he is clear on how to get people to do what you want if they aren’t already inclined to agree with you.
“When you have a lot of money, people around you tend to do what you say, and that isn’t really great preparation for international diplomacy.
“If you look at every day people, they don’t tend to act belligerent towards a belligerent person – they know it only exacerbates the situation.
“But if you look at Donald Trump, that is what he is doing.”
And John Andrews, International affairs expert and veteran foreign correspondent, told Sun Online: “He [Trump] will be a real challenge for diplomats.
“One of the reasons is that we’ve become used to there just being one genuinely unpredictable world leader and that was Kim Jong-un.
“Now we have a second, Donald J Trump – and we are waiting to see how he will preside.
“There are big question marks over his character that came up during the campaign – is this alarmist?
“It’s difficult to know.”
The past few months have seen a series of alarming incidents that could bring the two states to the brink of nuclear conflict.
In April President Trump ramped up the pressure on China to take action against the secretive state by declaring the US would “solve the problem” alone if it did not step up.