North Korean’s leader Kim Jong-un
North Korean’s leader Kim Jong-un

Main threat of nuclear attack may be 'miscalculation'

THE key risk on the Korean peninsula is a miscalculation or the ''Dr Strangelove scenario'' where a crazy North Korean general pushes the wrong button, according to a strategic expert.

Professor Hugh White from the Australian National University said the regime in Pyongyang would be in no doubt that a nuclear strike against the US or its allies would generate a rapid and disproportionate nuclear response from Washington.

He said the main threat was a miscalculation or a rapid escalation in hostilities following a minor military incident such as an artillery strike.

''At least we don't face the Cold War situation where any launch would trigger a massive nuclear response by the other side,'' Professor White said.

During the 1950s and 60s that strategy was known by the acronym MAD - mutually assured destruction.