North Korea claimed it was a “pipe dream” to think it would ever give up its nuclear programme after the UN imposed brutal sanctions to halt Kim Jong-un’s regime.
Professor Ralph Peters warned America has the military capacity to “devastate” Kim Jong-un’s entire nuclear programme.
Appearing on Fox News, Mr Peters said: “The North Korea military is rotting away. We don’t know how much loyalty is left. We have the military capacity to devastate it very quickly.
“While we don’t want war, if we must strike North Korea, it’s critical to do it all out with everything we’ve got because if you try to do it part way then you put Seoul and South Korea at risk.”
Mr Peters said he believes a showdown is on the horizon following North Korea’s refusal to give up its nuclear programme. He said: “I hope I’m wrong. Again, we want peace – a peaceful solution. And China is key.
“China is toughening sanctions but still not enough. You’ve got to just bring the regime to a cold halt.
“If China won’t do that then I’m afraid as early as 2018 we may see bloody, violent conflict on the Korean peninsula and not because we want it – we don’t.”
Pyongyang attempted to fight back after the United Nations Security Council imposed tough new sanctions on the hermit nation following its continued missile testing.
The resolution is attempting to ban almost 90 percent of refined petroleum product exports to North Korea – a resolution which North Korea labelled an “act of war”.
Following the UN vote, Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: “The United Nations Security Council just voted 15-0 in favour of additional Sanctions on North Korea. The World wants Peace, not Death!”
UN sanctions have forced China to stop all exports of petroleum exports to North Korea in November, Chinese customs data showed.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: “As a principle, China has consistently fully, correctly, conscientiously and strictly enforced relevant UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea. We have already established a set of effective operating mechanisms and methods.”
In response to the sanctions, the North Korea foreign ministry said: “We define this ‘sanctions resolution’ rigged up by the US and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our Republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the region and categorically reject the ‘resolution’.
“North Korea’s nuclear weapons are a self-defensive deterrence not in contradiction of international law.
“We will further consolidate our self-defensive nuclear deterrence aimed at fundamentally eradicating the US nuclear threats, blackmail and hostile moves by establishing the practical balance of force with the US.”
North Korea’s most recent missile test took place on November 29, and the regime said the Hwasong-15 missile flew 590 miles during its 53-minute flight before landing in the sea near Japan.
After the missile test Kim Jong-un declared that the North had “finally realised the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force”.
In response to the test, the US President has promised to “take care” of the situation in a huge warning to Kim Jong-un.