Cool heads needed in North Korea crisis
The latest news from North Korea significantly increases international tensions amid fears that the situation could easily get out of hand.
The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been pictured beside what he claims to be an H-Bomb which could be attached successfully to a long-range missile, having overseen another nuclear test.
This is only days after the North Koreans launched a missile which crossed over Japan before ending up in the ocean.
Kim Jong-un is playing a dangerous game which increases the fear that this unbridled programme of aggression could end in an attempted nuclear attack on the USA or one of its allies.
This stand-off between the North Korean leader and the USA has been going on for so long that some may dismiss it as a highly-dangerous game of bluff. Yet with each succeeding incident in North Korea, the stakes get higher and higher.
President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, both with huge egos and a strong desire to prove themselves in public, are not the best leaders to have in place at such a critical time, and the world waits uneasily for the next development.
This is a time for cool heads and a calm approach. Any unilateral move by the USA could trigger reprisals which could lead to instant attacks on South Korea and other countries in the region.
This in turn could lead to a huge loss of life among innocent people, and bring about major instability in the rest of the region.
During the Cold War the threat of a nuclear attack was always present, but this was avoided by a pragmatic realism from leaders who knew the risks, and set out to minimise them.
Today's two leaders are a cause for much more worry, and one wrong move could lead to mutual catastrophe.
A major multi-national effort is needed in the region to head off a potentially disastrous conflict, and a strong lead is required from China to rope in its rogue neighbour.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnston has echoed the sentiments of millions all around the world by calling for common sense and diplomacy to prevail, and to urge China to put even more pressure on North Korea.
So far this pressure has failed to curb a leader who appears to live in a parallel universe. These are worrying times, and we can only hope and pray that good sense will ultimately prevail.