North Korea map: Where is North Korea? Will World War 3 break out?
North Korea has issued a furious response to the latest round of international trade and energy supply sanctions from the UN Security Council.
Han Tae Song, North Korea’s Ambassador to the UN, has warned that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was prepared to use a form of “ultimate means” to safeguard its independence.
Mr Tae Song told a conference in Geneva: “The forthcoming measures by DPRK will make the US suffer the greatest pain it’s ever experienced in its history.
“The Washington regime finally opted for political, economic and military confrontation, obsessed with the wild dream of reversing the DPRK’s development of nuclear force which has already reached the completion phase.”
As tensions continue to flare in the region, here is a look at threat of war and where North Korea is located in the world.
North Korea takes up the northern half of the Korean Peninsula
Where is North Korea?
Kim Jong-un’s communist regime occupies the upper half of the Korean Peninsula.
The Korean Peninsula itself is divided roughly along the 38th parallel, with a heavily fortified Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) splitting the landmass in half.
To the north, Korea is directly bordered by its biggest ally China along the Yalu Rover. North Korea also shares a very small border with Russia in the northeast.
North Korea’s capital Pyongyang is located within striking distance of the South, around 90 miles from the DMZ and about 120 miles from the South’s capital Seoul.
North Korea’s capital city Pyongyang is close to the DMZ border
Further to the east, some 600 miles beyond the Sea of Japan, there are the four main islands of Japan.
North Korea is a mostly mountainous country with a humid climate characterised by short, hot summers and harsh snowy winters.
A 2017 UN report said that about 24.9 million people live in North Korea. A vast majority of the population are believed to be impoverished and dependant on handouts.
About four to five percent of the population is thought to be in active military duty, according to a a 2015 US Military and Security report. This makes its army the fourth largest in the world.
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Could war break out?
As the verbal conflict between North Korea and the US continues to escalate, there are fears that Pyongyang could respond to the latest sanctions with a new missile test.
Pyongyang reportedly issued quasi-war status earlier this week, with some residents fearing a “major provocation” could be at hand.
Last month North Korea stunned the world when it fired a missile over Japan, a move that Japan’s Prime Minister decried as an “unprecedented and grave threat”.
South Korea and Japan have now committed themselves to ramping up pressure on Kim Jong-un’s regime in a bid to stop its nuclear weapons programme.
North Korean experts believe that Kim Jong-un is bluffing about WW3
China’s UN Ambassador Liu Jieyia has also called for the regime to stop its nuclear armament and to “take seriously the expectations and will of the international community”.
We are not looking for war. The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return
US President Donald Trump, who has been engaged in war of words with Kim since taking office, has brushed off the significance of new sanctions.
“We think it’s just another very small step, not a big deal,” Mr Trump told reporters during a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday.
“I don’t know if it has any impact, but certainly it was nice to get a 15-to-nothing vote, but those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen.”
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, meanwhile tried to deescalate the tension by making it clear that the US is not looking for conflict.
Kim Jong-un could be trying to ward off outside influence from Washington
“We don’t take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions today,” she said on Monday.
“We are not looking for war. The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return. If it agrees to stop its nuclear programme, it can reclaim its future.”
The big question that remains now is whether or not there is a possibility that war cold actually break out.
Most experts agree that a full on WW3 scenario is unlikely and that Kim is trying to be taken seriously by the international community.
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Michael Morell, the former deputy director of the CIA, thinks that Kim is trying to scare the US into backing off from Pyongyang’s internal affairs.
Speaking on CBS on Sunday, Mr Morell said: “The message he is trying to send is, I can deter the United States of America from attacking me, I can deter them from trying to change the regime.
“That’s the message he is trying to send.”
He added that North Korea’s missile tests are a way of demonstrating that the regime has the power to strike a US city with a nuclear weapon.
This fear tactic could be used to ward off any perceived threat off outside influence from Washington.