The United States and China may be destined for war, with North Korea acting as the catalyst, a top national security analyst believes.

Graham Allison, who has advised every secretary of defense since the Reagan administration on nuclear disarmament, told Canada’s McLean’s magazine that the situation in North Korea is “like a Cuban missile crisis in slow motion.” He also is director of Harvard’s Belfer Center and Science and International Affairs.

“North Korea is either going to have the ability to launch a nuclear weapon against San Francisco or Vancouver or Los Angeles in the next year or so, or somebody’s going to prevent that from happening,” Allison told the magazine. “And that somebody, Trump said, is supposed to be China. As he said to [Chinese president] Xi, if you won’t do it, I will and you won’t like it.”

If China fails to act against North Korea, Allison said, then “it sets things up for blaming China for failing to do something that nobody could do, so it was an unreasonable demand.”

“I think in that sense it’s dangerous,” Allison said. “If you asked me what’s a good way to get to war, that would be a good way.”

Another danger would be the sudden fall of North Korea’s Communist dictatorship.

“Then there’s the possibility of regime collapse, with Americans and South Koreans coming from the south, Chinese from the north, racing to secure North Korean nuclear weapons or just stabilize the situation,” Allison said.

June 3, 2017

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