Fears that we could be on the brink of World War 3 have risen as tensions continue to escalate between the U.S. and North Korea. Now a Japanese minister has urged the U.S. to stop talking and take action over North Korean provocation. The call comes in the wake of the latest North Korean ballistic missile test, and as the U.S. sends a second aircraft carrier to the Korean peninsula. As reported by ABC News the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is now in the Sea of Japan, and is expected to begin operations with the USS Carl Vinson as early as today.
The latest beefing up of U.S. naval forces in the region, comes shortly after at least one additional nuclear submarine was deployed to the Korean peninsula. On Monday, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was criticized after the latest missile test, and after he threatened to send “a bigger gift package” to America. In the wake of North Korea’s latest provocation, the U.S. successfully tested a system designed to shoot down ballistic missiles.
According to NPR, the U.S. fired a ballistic missile from an island in the western Pacific. An interceptor missile was fired from California and destroyed the ICBM outside the Earth’s atmosphere. With both North Korea and the U.S. testing missile systems many believe that World War 3 could easily begin in the region.
If World War 3 were to begin, then Japan would be on the front line, and, according to the Express, Japanese minister Shinichi Iida has called for an end to “dialogue for dialogue’s sake.”
“We are very much concerned with yet another provocation by North Korea.”
“North Korea has conducted nuclear tests twice and has launched more than 30 ballistic missiles in just over a year. It is obviously causing a very serious threat, not only to the region but also to the entire world.”
Mr. Iida urged China, North Korea’s only real ally, to intervene to stop Pyongyang pushing us towards World War 3. He also indicated that cutting North Korea’s ability to generate foreign currency revenue was essential if U.N. sanctions are to work.
Could World War 3 Start Tomorrow?
It is easy to assume that World War 3 will be avoided, chiefly because North Korea could not hope to stand up to U.S. military might. The problem is that war between the U.S. and North Korea is likely to drag China into the conflict.
It may be the case that North Korea does not yet have the ability to prosecute World War 3 on the U.S. mainland, but according to Fox News, recent tests have shown that they could strike U.S. bases in the region, notably the Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, on the southern tip of Japan’s main island. Such an attack, or an attack on U.S. naval forces in the South China Sea, could easily spark World War 3.
It is also believed that North Korea may have the capability to deliver nuclear missiles from submarines, and that would allow them to strike the U.S. directly. Of course, the biggest threat is that war between the U.S. and North Korea risks drawing China into World War 3. Tensions between the U.S. and China are already high as China claims dominion, over territory in the South China Sea, that is currently held by U.S. allies, Japan and the Philippines.
War between China and the U.S. is unthinkable. The Chinese have a huge nuclear arsenal. and massive armed forces. War between the world’s two superpowers is likely to lead to nuclear Armageddon, and mutually assured destruction. If World War 3 is to be avoided, China has a huge role to play. As North Korea’s only real ally, China could exert pressure to end the kind of brinkmanship that Kim Jong-un is currently employing.
Even then, convincing North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile testing programs may prove impossible. We seem to be in a period that sees the U.S. respond to North Korean provocation by increasing its military strength in the region. Kim Jong-un feels threatened by that escalation and responds by accelerating missile tests. This is a spiral of escalation that poses the biggest threat to world peace, and increases the chances of World War 3 becoming reality.
[Featured Image by KRT/AP Images]