Mark Fitzpatrick, the executive director of non-nuclear proliferation organisation IISS Americas warned of the firepower that North Korea potentially might have.
North Korea said it was “carefully examining” plans to strike territories of the US after Donald Trump launched a scathing attack on Kim Jong-un warning that North Korea would be met with “fire and fury” if the state continued to threaten America.
Speaking to BBC’s Newsnight, Mr Fitzpatrick warned of what North Korea could do before he claimed the US President didn’t know how to handle to developing situation with North Korea.
He said: “Your question is what could North Korea do? They could start a war, a conventional war, that could soon escalate into a nuclear war.
“They could try to attack US bases in Japan with a nuclear weapon.
“Then threaten to attack the continental United States cities if the United States intervenes, that’s the worst scenario.”
The host Evan Davis stepped in, insisting that reports in the US suggest North Korea would be more likely to target the continental US.
“Yes, yes, that is a new assessment by apparently the defence intelligence agency,” Mr Fitzpatrick replied.
“They said a couple of things that were worrisome. They said that North Korea could mount, and miniaturise warheads to fit their missiles. That’s something that analysts have thought for some time.
“But they also said it could be done with an intercontinental ballistic missile – which is an assessment which goes beyond what they have said before.
“And then they also said that North Korea might have up to 60 nuclear weapons. That’s three times more than most analysts believe North Korea has, it sounds like worst case analysis and someone trying to cover their bets.”
During the BBC interview, Mr Fitzpatrick also targeted the President’s rhetoric, branding it “bluster”.
Mr Fitzpatrick warned the hasty threat could lead to all out war between North Korean and the United States.
He added: “This sounds like blustering.
“It sounds like the president doesn’t exactly know how to respond and when he doesn’t know he responds with bluster.
“The United States is not going to attack North Korea, North Korea is not going to attack the United States.
“But these kinds of statements and the kind of statements North Korean’s make ratchet up the tensions, and could lead to misperceptions which could lead to war.”
North Korea has claimed it is “carefully…