ANOTHER TEST BY NORTH KOREA – HEADING TOWARDS WORLD WAR III?

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, arrives for the official opening of the Ryomyong residential area, in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Photo : AP/NEWSis)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, arrives for the official opening of the Ryomyong residential area, in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Photo : AP/NEWSis)

One more test…and it will not stop. Kim Jong Un is irreprehensible in his nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile strategy, action…and dreams.

The president of North Korea derives immense pleasure from examining his white and silver warheads…and charting the paths ahead for their test and use.

The most recent test in early September is claimed to be a hydrogen bomb that could be 10 to 20 times bigger than previous ones. Western nations are busy investigating the veracity of the claims made by the melodramatic news reader on North Korean television, Ri Chun Hee.

There have been reports of earthquakes of high intensity than before. The first one was noted as 5.6 and later at 6.3 on the Richter scale. The shockwaves were felt far and wide. This was followed by another quake. It is claimed it could be due to the collapse of the underground test tunnel.

The timing for attention could not have been more perfect. The BRICS Summit was about to begin in China. The proclaimed H-bomb went off a few hours before.

Soon, news channels were resounding with reactions of world leaders and ministries of foreign affairs.

Even as Russia itself plans to launch missiles through submarines, it stated that the test calls for immediate dialogue and negotiations.

Japan stated the action was extremely unforgivable.

South Korea said it will speak to Donald Trump to deploy the strongest strategic assets. There is talk about a simulated exercise to attack the North Korean nuclear test site.

In recent months, North Korea has spoken aggressively about attacking the USA. Donald Trump’s reaction was as pathetically banal as is usual for him: Trump tweeted: “North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.”

Meanwhile, all eyes are on China, North Korea’s great ally nation. In various statements, China said that North Korea must stop taking erroneous actions that deteriorate the situation. The Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement that North Korea “has ignored the international community’s widespread opposition, again carrying out a nuclear test”. The Chinese government further stated that it expresses resolute opposition and strong condemnation towards this test.

There is a general view that economic, political and diplomatic pressure on China to intervene is the only way. There is also the overall understanding…and fear…that Kim will never give up on his plans.

Pre-emptive strikes by USA can cause great harm and will destroy large populations. This test bomb is said to have been five times larger than Nagasaki. That portends a horrific future, particularly since no nation seems to have the power to control North Korea in spite of United Nations resolutions and sanctions.

So, it is not fear mongering when the new question being asked is, are we heading towards WW3? If so, what does it mean for Asia and the several poor pockets it houses?

India, as an Asian country, is greatly concerned about the ramifications of this latest huge test in violation of international commitments. The response in the Indian Press is largely based on the perceptions of the government and its stand. India has its own issues with China, including related to the South China Sea. The possibility of India playing any noteworthy role in influencing China is largely negligible. It rests upon countries like the USA, Russia, Japan to wield diplomatic power in this grievous hour of danger.

Post-script: Even as this was being written, the United Nations Security Council undertook an emergency session at the behest of Japan joined by USA, UK, France. Discussions about a coalition of military force definitely portends a world war like scenario because Kim Jong Un is not ready to be suppressed. Any miscalculation in strategy poses threat first of all to South Korea that is most at risk, even before the USA.

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