Tuesday 12 December 2017

Mis-step or accident could cost more than a million lives

Analysis

South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Photo: Michele Tantussi/Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Photo: Michele Tantussi/Reuters

Julian Ryall

North Korea has frequently warned that a full-scale conflict is about to break out on the Korean Peninsula.

Often dismissed as wild rhetoric, that nightmare scenario has become significantly more likely after the country's successful test launch on Tuesday of an intercontinental ballistic missile. Analysts have devised a number of scenarios of how tensions might develop into a conflict that would devastate the peninsula and, possibly, beyond.

A conventional war could cost the lives of one million people, according to some estimates, although that figure would rise sharply if either side resorted to weapons of mass destruction.

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