North Korea has been accelerating its threat to the US and to the globe with recent missile tests.
World War 3 fears have been raised and North Korea expert Gordon Change has warned rogue dictator Kim Jong-un could spark a “global conflict”.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Mr Chang warned 2018 could see war break out as US President Donald Trump aims to pressure Kim Jong-un.
He said: “North Korea will be dangerous in about nine months or so because then two things are going to happen at the same time.
“First thing, President Donald Trump‘s strangulation campaign, to cut off money flows to North Korea will actually have a great effect on the regime.
“We are already seeing signs of problems, of cashflow problems in North Korea.
“In nine months or so I think that the President’s plan will have a great effect. Also at that time, the North Koreans will become confident in their arsenal.
“They will be confident that they can put a nuke on top of a missile that can reach the American homeland. You put those two events together and it spells trouble for 2018.”
Mr Chang, the author of Nuclear Showdown, said China and Russia could join the side of North Korea in a potential war.
He said: “You can’t rule out any scenario, including the start of histories next great war.
“We always think that this is going to be a conflict with the United States and South Korea and Japan on one side and North Korea on the other.
“But that is an assumption that I would not make. For instance, if there were to be a conflict with North Korea I think it’s entirely possible that China and maybe Russia would come in on Pyongyang’s side.
“The Chinese have actually said in a Global Times editorial, not official but I do believe it reflects official thinking. That if the United States were to strike North Korea, China would aid North Korea.
“We have got to take them at their word, so this could be a global conflict.”
The North Korean regime launched an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) on Wednesday with Kim Jong-un declaring they had “finally realised the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force”.
North Korea claimed the new Hwasong-15 missile soared to an altitude of about 2,780 miles (4,475 km) and flew 590 miles (950km) during its 53-minute flight before landing in the sea new Japan.
The missile launch was a more advanced missile compared to the Hwasong-14 which North Korea tested back in July.