With tensions between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, at an all-time high many are worried that the slightest spark could plunge the world into a nuclear World War 3. After months of missile and nuclear tests by North Korea, the international community is united in its desire to stop North Korea becoming a nuclear power. President Trump has stated on numerous occasions that he will “do whatever it takes” to stop North Korea threatening world peace. The North Korean’s insist that they will not stop their nuclear program until they have a missile system capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States.
As recently reported by the Inquisitr, President Trump has asked China’s leader, Xi Jinping, to assist with bringing North Korea into line with the wishes of the international community. China has agreed to send a delegation to North Korea, but there will be tensions between Trump and China over the issue. The Chinese favor a “freeze-for-freeze deal,” where the North Korea would freeze its nuclear development in exchange for the U.S. withdrawing troops and military hardware from the region.
Earlier this week President Trump added North Korea to the list of countries who are “state sponsors of terrorism.” This enables even more rigid sanctions against North Korea, something likely to enrage Kim Jong-un and raise fears of World War 3 higher still. According to the Independent, the latest move by Trump is dangerous because “this is a chess game in which both players, not just one of them, are highly unpredictable and volatile.”
With fears of a nuclear World War 3 so high one false move, by either the U.S. or North Korea, could lead to disaster. With so much bellicose rhetoric on both sides of the conflict, it’s easy to forget that North Korea is still technically at war with U.S. ally, South Korea. The two countries have upheld a nervous 60-year ceasefire, but hostilities have never been declared over.
A two-mile-wide demilitarized zone sits between the two parts of Korea, and violation of that zone breaches the armistice between North and South. Such a violation is just the sort of slip that could reignite the war between North and South Korea, and that could escalate into World War 3. Worryingly, just such a breach occurred last week.
As reported by the New York Times, North Korean troops fired weapons into the demilitarized zone as they tried to shoot a man attempting to defect to South Korea. One of the North Korean troops also crossed the border into the demilitarized zone. According to the U.S. led United Nations Command, which oversees the armistice, both incidents are breaches of the ceasefire agreement.
South Korean troops entered the demilitarized zone to pull the wounded defector to safety. No South Korean troops were injured, but with tensions simmering, a firefight could easily have been sparked, risking the already fragile peace accord. United Nations Commander, General Vincent K. Brooks, said that “the armistice agreement was challenged, but it remains in place.”
[Featured Image by Ahn Young-joon/AP Images]