BEIJING — China’s foreign minister says war between the United States and North Korea may be inevitable.
“The two sides are like two accelerating trains coming towards each other,” Wang Yi said at a news conference this week. “The question is, are the two sides really ready for a head-on collision?”
Wang’s remarks were prompted by North Korean ballistic missile tests and the U.S. beginning deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea. Once functional, THAAD will be able to shoot down North Korean missiles. The Chinese government is afraid THAAD’s deployment will kick off an arms race in Asia.
Xinhua, China’s state media, warned of an “arms race.”
“More missile shields of one side inevitably bring more nuclear missiles of the opposing side that can break through the missile shield,” the Xinhua article said, according to CNN.
Wang warned South Korea, a key U.S. ally, to cease and desist the deployment of THAAD because it undermines China’s security. China also believes the system could be used to spy on the country.
Wang’s frankness was unusual for a Chinese leader.
“They don’t usually use this kind of language but it’s not completely surprising given that they are not really effectively able to constrain or restrain what the North Koreans do and they’re deeply unhappy about the U.S. deployment of THAAD to South Korea,” Professor Steve Tsang of the SOAS China Institute told CNN.
U.S. Causing North Korean Missiles to Explode?
The US already is conducting cyberwarfare and electronic warfare against North Korea, and hacking may have caused a number of its missiles to explode, The New York Times reported. The effort was apparently so successful that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un ordered an investigation and may have had security officials executed.
Still, North Korea has managed three successful medium-range missile tests and Kim claims his military is in the final stage of preparation for the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could hit the United States.
“Senior [American] national security leaders have stated that the U.S. needs to work off the assumption that North Korea will have ICBM capabilities soon, and in this business ‘soon’ could mean five to 10 years, or earlier,” Ariel Cohen of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security told the Washington Free Beacon.
Cohen thinks North Korea soon may be able to launch an attack on U.S. military bases in Hawaii. The U.S. would have little defense against an attack because 56 percent of the anti-missiles deployed in Alaska and California failed in tests, The Times reported.
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