World War 3 Fears Arise As North Korea Reportedly Prepares Another Nuclear Test, Sparking Concern About Region-Wide Conflict

Fears of World War 3 are being raised after North Korea launched a nuclear test and leveled nuclear war threats that some believe could spark a region-wide conflict.

The rogue nation conducted its fifth nuclear test this weekend, leading neighboring South Korea to prepare for war, and superpowers United States and China to move together in a rare sign of collective support.

The tensions between the neighboring nations had already rising rapidly when North Korea claimed to have tested a nuclear warhead this weekend, the second alleged test this year and reportedly the most powerful one ever.

South Korean officials believe that another test could be coming soon from Kim Jong Un, CNN reported.

“We assess that (North Korea) is prepared for a nuclear test in another shaft,” Defense Minister Han Min-koo said on Friday.

South Korea appears to be seeking a diplomatic solution to the tensions between the two countries. Yun Byung-se, South Korea’s foreign minister, said this weekend that North Korea’s nuclear capabilities were growing considerably and that new sanctions were needed from the international community. There is reportedly a meeting planned for the UN Security Council along with Japan, South Korea, and the United States to discuss what measures can be taken.

Those reports were ridiculed by North Korea, CNN noted.

“The Obama administration running around and talking about meaningless sanctions until today is highly laughable,” state media said Sunday. “We will continue to strengthen our nuclear power in quality and quantity to protect our dignity and the right to live as well as to ensure genuine peace from the increasing threat of a nuclear war by the United States.”

North Korean state officials have also bragged about their newfound ability to equip ballistic rockets with nuclear warheads, though it is not clear if those claims have been verified.

But the nuclear tests have sparked fears of World War 3, with the Mirror warning specifically of a “Third World War” being sparked in the region. The report noted that the United States could be pulled into the conflict along with China.

“South Korea’s presidential office said President Barack Obama had indicated he would take every action under a mutual defence treaty with the South, including providing its nuclear umbrella, to protect Seoul from any North Korean threat.

“Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye talked by telephone, South Korea’s Blue House said, after a seismic event was recorded in North Korea that Seoul and Tokyo described as a nuclear test.”

Though there has been no real threat of World War 3, there has been something of a battle in the region as the United States, China, Russia, and North Korea have all been building up their military presence in the area, CNN noted. The United States and China have also been at odds over disputed territory in the South China Sea, the report added.

There had already been fears of World War 3 stirred up over Russia’s surprise military exercises, which were reportedly a preparation for a large-scale conflict. The military exercise caught Russia’s neighbors and NATO countries off guard, the Daily Signal reported. There were other fears that Russia could be preparing a full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine, which would have accounted for the military exercises.

Those tensions have actually stretched back several years through Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict as well as its allegedly provocative military exercises toward NATO partners, including accusations that it entered airspace of other countries in a move to test defenses.

While the fears of World War 3 may be rising in response to North Korea’s nuclear tests, it appears that both South Korea and the United States are committed to finding a diplomatic solution before any real conflict could break out.

[Photo by Ahn Young-joon/AP Images]

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