World War 3: Russia Sees Possibility of War
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that both sides were inching dangerously close to World War 3.
“How close have we come to this situation? Yes, we’ve come very close to a possible armed conflict,” she said in an interview with the TV channel Russia-1.
“If there really is an armed force scenario and if everything indeed happens the way the Washington establishment is trying to scare us all with, the situation will be simply catastrophic,” she added, before noting that that “the whole world tried to prevent the sprawl of the disaster” of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, back in 2011.
Zakharova said that the United States was not considering the full repercussions of an armed conflict in the region.
“The representatives of the establishment, the senators, they try to say to the public that they will not even have to worry about it, because people will die not in the US, but in other countries, though not just in North Korea,” she explained. “I think they are thinking of South Korea as well.”
President Trump has taken a harsher stance against North Korea than his predecessor, Barack Obama, while Pyongyang has carried on ignoring sanctions and UN Security Council rulings against its nuclear weapons program. The war of words between the two sides took a more serious turn on Tuesday, when Trump threatened to meet North Korea with “fire and fury” if it continues to make threats against the United States. Pyongyang responded by saying it was working on a plan to launch a medium-range ballistic missile close to the US territory of Guam, some 3,200km from North Korea.
World War 3 US Victory
North Korea wouldn’t stand a chance against the US if the war of words between the two states escalates into a military conflict, Leonid Ivashov, a political analyst and retired Russian Colonel-General, told RT, urging a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
“It’s a total mismatch,” Ivashov, who currently heads the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, said of the possible confrontation between Washington and Pyongyang.
“The US is a superpower, while North Korea is a small regional player. North Korea can’t compete with America on any level,” he said.
President Donald Trump needs to strengthen his position in Washington, and the American attack on North Korea “can’t be ruled out,” Ivashov said.
According to the retired colonel-general, modern surveillance technologies allow the US to know “the exact location of all missile systems and nuclear production facilities” possessed by Pyongyang.
“The Americans can strike North Korea – its nuclear missile development centers, industrial facilities; try to eliminate everything that North Korea created in terms of medium-range and long-range missiles and nuclear production,” he said.
The American B-1 bombers will be able to inflict significant damage on Pyongyang’s underground nuclear development facilities and missile silos, “taking into account the weakness of the North Korean anti-missile defense,” Ivashov said.
He was also skeptical about Pyongyang’s threats to target the US territory of Guam in case of an attack.
“To some extent, it’s a bluff on the part of North Korea; an attempt to save face and avert the American blow through international rhetoric,” he said.
“The US has a powerful anti-missile defense system off the coast of the Korean Peninsula… which may well intercept Pyongyang’s missiles. The Guam Air Base, which North Korea is planning to attack, is also covered by the US anti-missile defense,” Ivashov added.
Earlier this week, North Korea said that it strike first in World War 3 and would fire ballistic missiles in the direction of Guam sometime in mid-August as a rehearsal of war with the US.
The announcement was made after Trump promised “fire and fury” against Pyongyang if it continued tests aimed at developing nuclear-capable long-range ballistic missiles.
On Friday, Trump came up with another bellicose statement, warning the North on Twitter that “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.”
According to Ivashov, North Korea is still capable of inflicting “some damage” on the US, but it will be incomparable to the blow the Americans will deliver.
With the current state of events, it’s is important for the international community to push the crisis towards a diplomatic solution,” he said.
“China and Russia should intervene now. Political and economic pressure should be increased on North Korea, more sanctions introduced. The main thing is to get the situation out of the military perspective,” Ivashov said.
World War 3 North Korea May Strike First
North Korea may well fulfill its threat to start World War 3 and to hit US targets on South Korean territory if continued pressure by Washington puts Pyongyang at an impasse, Pavel Zolotarev, a retired Russian Major General, told RT.
“A US strike against North Korea may go against common logic, but when a country is governed by propaganda – and the United States are going through such a period – political decisions go beyond rational logic, and there we can have consequences that are hard to foresee,” Zolotarev warned.
On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump promised to bring “fire and fury like the world has never seen” on North Korea if it doesn’t stop tests aimed at the developing a nuclear-tipped long-range ballistic missile. Than the next day he went even further to say that the “fire and fury” warning to North Korea may not have been “tough enough.”
Increased pressure from Washington may force the North to “be more assertive in terms of retaliatory measures,” with South Korea becoming hostage in this situation, he warned.
“Strikes may be carried out, targeting either US facilities in South Korea or the South Korean territory itself,” Zolotarev, who is the Deputy Director of the Institute for US and Canadian Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, said.
“One shouldn’t forget that the South Korean capital, Seoul, is within the reach of (North Korean) artillery,” he added.
The expert stressed that claims by Korean People’s Army that they have plans worked out to strike US bases in Guam are “no bluff.”
“Every country’s military have to elaborate deployment strategies for any eventuality. It is politicians – not the military – who decide on whether or not to use such plans… So, if North Korean military talk of such plans, it means they actually have them,” he explained.
If the armed confrontation between the US and the North eventually breaks out, the Americans shouldn’t expect it to be a walk in the park, Zolotarev said.
“The North Korean military may inflict significant damage to US forces during a conventional conflict. Though their equipment is far beyond the American assets, their combat readiness and military morale are much higher,” he said.
North Korea Desperate for ICBM
No threats from Washington or even the harshest sanctions will make Pyongyang abandon its plan to develop its own intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Aleksandr Tsalko, a Russian retired Air Force general, told RT.
“[The North Koreans] will sell the last shirt from their back, but will make [the missile],” Tsalko said.
However, he expressed doubt that Pyongyang currently has the capability to carry out nuclear strikes against American bases in Guam and elsewhere if attacked.
“They claim they have one, but having a long-range missile and being capable of delivering a nuclear strike are two different things. They need to make a nuclear warhead that their missile can carry, to learn how to hit a target with it at long range,” the co-founder of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policies said.
“I doubt North Korea now has a guidance system good enough for that. They can make a bang somewhere in the sea, but that’s all,” he added.
Despite the US being serious about North Korean claims that it tested an ICBM, the Russian military insists that its data shows that Pyongyang only fired a mid-range missile.
The former general said that while the US is overwhelmingly more powerful than North Korea, launching an attack at the country would come with a significant cost for America’s allies in the region, namely South Korea and Japan.
“However few short and intermediate-range missiles North Korea has, they are enough to cause unacceptable amount of damage, if a nuclear warhead is used,” he said.
“The Americans should have enough brains not to do it [attack Pyongyang]. As long as they don’t hurt North Korea, it will not take any action in return,” Tsalko said.