Washington: An American lawmaker has said that news that North Korea is expected to go ahead with a missile launch signals "a catastrophe of enormous proportions" and warned that an accidental war could break out on the Korean peninsula.
In anticipation of a missile launch expected around April 10, South Korea`s Navy has moved destroyers with interceptor missiles into position to counter any incoming fire, Japan reportedly has plans to do the same, reports CBS News.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., while speaking on "Face the Nation", said the ambiguous intentions of North Korea`s new young leader Kim Jong-Un could trigger war.
The senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee said that more than once, wars have started by accident, adding that this is a very serious situation.
If a war did break out, McCain said there is no doubt that South Korea would win.
What happens next will depend largely on China, whose relationship with North Korea, a senior US official said.
McCain said China can cut off their economy if they want to. He further said that Chinese behaviour has been very disappointing.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Clinton-era Secretary of State Madeleine Albright agreed that China holds the key that will either unlock a war or keep the regional tensions at bay.
Albright, who visited North Korea in 2000, said America`s task at hand is to persuade China that "they don`t need to be afraid of a de-nuclearised Korean peninsula".