All it would take is a miscalculation — an error in interpretation by a single soldier, for example — to plummet the United States, North Korea and the region into war, some analysts warn.
While it may seem theoretical, a growing chorus of foreign policy experts across the political spectrum are warning that the standoff is closer to war than at any time in recent years. Some even argue the problem is becoming intractable, if not impossible to solve, which makes military action that much more likely.
As President Donald Trump heads to Asia Friday for a 12-day trip, the North Korean crisis will be a top priority, especially because the United States is “running out of time,” according to his national security adviser.
“We are in a race to solve this, short of military action,” H.R. McMaster said Oct. 19, adding that Trump “is not going to accept this regime threatening the United States with a nuclear weapon.”