Fears of World War 3 breaking out in Asia are rising after tensions between North and South Korea continue to boil, and other countries appear ready to jump into the fray.
Earlier this month, two South Korean soldiers were injured by land miles in the DMZ. North Korea denied planting the mines, but the incident angered South Korea, which responded by blasting anti-communist propaganda over loud speakers. In turn, North Korea threatened to blow up the loudspeakers.
The countries now appear headed for a larger military conflict after a brief exchange of gunfire at the border on Thursday, an incident that heightened tension even more.
As the BBC noted, the countries are both ramping up their military actions in what could be a buildup to World War 3.
The situation has also pulled in the United States, the report noted.
“South Korea has evacuated almost 4,000 residents from border areas and warned that it would “retaliate harshly” to any acts of aggression.”
“On Monday, it said most of North Korea’s submarines appeared to be away from their bases, and amphibious landing vessels had been deployed to the border, the Yonhap news agency reports.”
“Meanwhile US and South Korean fighter jets have been flying in formation near the border.”
The United States is not the only country that appears ready to jump into the conflict. China is also trying to get involved, hoping to ease tensions and prevent widescale war, Yonhap News noted.
“Voicing ‘deep concern’ about the development on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying called for ‘all parties concerned to stop any actions that could escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.'”
The outlet later reported that 50 North Korean submarines have moved away from their base.
But the countries appear to be trying to avert World War 3. Officials from North and South Korea have met for each of the past two days in an attempt to end the conflict.
South Korea’s insistence on an apology for the soldiers injured in the land mine explosion could complicate matters, however.
“There is no room to back down,” South Korean President Park Geun-hye reportedly told staff. “If there is no apology, we will respond accordingly.”
This is not the first time that tension between South and North Korea has sparked fears of World War 3. Back in 2013, some tough talk from North Korea led many to believe that the nations could be on the verge of war.
[Image via Getty Images]