The World Watches And Waits As Potential Nuclear War Looms On The Horizon Of 2018

Lee Jin-man AP Images

As the world prepares to welcome in the New Year, a different kind of anticipation weighs heavy on many of our most prominent leaders–the anticipation of possible nuclear war.

This horrific news comes at a time when tensions between the US and North Korea have reached a boiling point, and many fear that there is no real solution in sight.

On Sunday, the former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen made his concern over the lack of any diplomatic resolution apparent in an interview with ABC News. Mullen, who worked under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, pointed out that we are closer to nuclear war with North Korea than we have been at any other time in history.

“We’re actually closer in my view, to a nuclear war with North Korea and in that region than we have ever been,” Mullen stated. “I don’t see the opportunities to solve this diplomatically at this particular point.”

This news comes at a time when the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres released a New Year’s statement asking the world to come together in order to present a unified front in the face of global adversity.

In January, when Guterres accepted his current position, he had called for a year spent building peace, and embracing global unity. Instead, 2017 has proven to be one of the most controversial years on record. He pointed out that the world has “gone in reverse.”

He continues, saying:

“On New Year’s Day 2018 I am not issuing an appeal, I am issuing an alert– a red alert for our world.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres listens as the Japanese foreign minister speaks at a December conference.Featured image credit: Mary Altaffer AP Images

This has led many to consider just how close we currently are to a full-on nuclear war with North Korea. Mullen did point out that President Trump has been surprisingly successful in convincing China to take a stern stance against its former ally.

“I think President Trump has made China move more than they have in the past. Whether they continue to do that to help resolve this is the open question,” he said. “A real measure of how this all comes out is whether China is going to commit to a peaceful resolution here. If they don’t, then I worry a great deal that it’s much more likely there will be conflict.”

The relationship between China and North Korea remains unclear, but new sanctions by the Chinese government have prompted many to believe that the country is more than a little fed up with the actions of North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un.

What Mullen fears is that there will come a time when President Trump is prompted to follow through with his previous threats of “fire and fury,” in the form of a preemptive nuclear or missile strike in North Korea. This could prompt possible retaliation — bringing nuclear war to the US.

The air of uncertainty that’s fallen over the US in the form of social and political unrest has given our enemies a way in. Mullen points out that this makes us appear weak, and susceptible to a climate of unfavorable change.

“Those who have been our friends for many years ask questions about our commitments to them…and our enemies, those that would do us ill, seem to be able to take advantage of the uncertainty.”

Mullen went on to share his trepidation over the upcoming nuclear deal with Iran. President Trump is required to reevaluate Iran’s nuclear position in January and many fear that this will introduce an entirely new threat to the American people.

“I worry greatly about the fact that the Iranians will bring forward a nuclear weapon capability,” he said. “They were very close when the deal was struck. They can redevelop it, I think, very rapidly.”