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Tonight: Trump V North Korea: Could War Happen?

Adam Shaw reports on Trump V North Korea: Could War Happen? - ITV at 7:30pm on Thursday 28th September Photo: ITV/Tonight/AP/KRT

The two States are involved in an increasingly aggressive war of words with the terrifying threat of nuclear weapons thrown into the mix.

Many are worried about the testing of missiles and bombs - and the angry rhetoric, when a miscalculation could lead to war. Tonight speaks to leading experts on the US and North Korea to help us understand what is really going on and how to avoid the unimaginable.

A lot separates The United States of America and North Korea - the U.S. is the world’s most powerful democracy while N. Korea is a totalitarian dictatorship. However, perhaps similarities can be drawn between the leaders of each country... it could be said that their personalities are both unpredictable and controversial.

Professor Scott Lucas from the University of Birmingham says:

“The worst thing you can do in diplomacy and a possible military confrontation is, sort of, poke someone in the chest rhetorically and say, ‘Alright, come back at me if you’re tough enough.'”

– Professor Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham

More recently, President Trump has made comments on Twitter which North Korea has seen as a declaration of war. Given N. Korea may have a missile which can reach the U.S., this is leaving many concerned about what might happen next.

John Everard who was British Ambassador to North Korea from 2006-2008, said:

“This is pretty bad I mean how do you measure these things, but a situation which plausibly might tip over into regional conflict, possibly involving nuclear weapons. We haven’t had a situation this bad for quite some time.”

– John Everard, British Ambassador to North Korea from 2006-2008
Parade in Pyongyang, North Korea Credit: AP/KRT

So what do we need to know about North Korea?

It’s home to 25 million people, boasts the fourth largest army in the world and earlier this month claimed to have successfully tested its first Hydrogen Bomb.

In fact, the regime spends a huge amount of its money in weapons - a bigger percentage than any other country on the planet. They are well known for their spectacular parades but behind the scenes they are poverty stricken.

North Korea seen from space by night, it’s in virtual darkness compared to its brightly lit neighbours. Credit: NASA

Tonight spoke to Jihyun Park, a refugee from North Korea. She tells of how she would often see people starving on the streets and decided to try and escape the country after her father died. She spoke of how she was then captured and sent to a labour camp:

“So when I went to the labour camp, we women were made to walk. We never wore shoes, just only barefoot. But North Korea’s there were stones, glass and animal faeces everywhere. So you would have cut bloody feet, but the Police didn’t care. We continued to work.”

– Jihyun Park, North Korean refugee

Following years of brutal treatment, Jihyun managed to flee North Korea and found refuge with her family in the U.K.

It’s thought the regime currently holds more than 100 thousand political prisoners.

Jihyun Park escaped North Korea and now resides in the U.K. Credit: ITV/Tonight

In recent weeks, President Trump has become increasingly more vocal about his public pronouncements, but North Koreans aren’t backing down, firing two missiles over Japan in the past four weeks.

“War is rarely the answer, but human beings throughout history have tended to go to war when they’ve run out of imagination and I do fear right now that we may be heading in that direction, it may not be this instant with North Korea but it could be one further down the line."

– Dr Patricia Lewis, Chatham House

This evening a fresh report from, the Royal United Services Institute, says that war with North Korea is now a real possibility and that the U.S. might make the first strike.

The leading Defence and Security think-tank warns that even without the use of nuclear weapons there would be massive casualties on a par with those seen in Iraq and Vietnam. The report urges Britain help steer the US away from conflict. For the full report, please follow the link below.

A think-tank warns war with North Korea is now a real possibility and that the U.S. might make the first strike. Credit: DVIDS

While nobody really knows what may happen next, it’s almost certain Britain would be drawn into any conflict with North Korea.

See more at 7:30pm on Thursday 28th September on ITV as Adam Shaw reports on Trump vs North Korea: Could War Happen?

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Useful link The Royal United Services Institute report, Preparing for war in Korea