October 12, 2011 13:20
The collapse of the North Korean regime could be a trigger for a military conflict between the U.S. and China, says the California-based RAND Corporation.
The hard-right think tank lists the end of the North Korean regime as one of six factors that could cause a clash between the two superpowers. Another factor is differing views on Taiwan and the South China Sea.
It also forecast an exodus of North Koreans to areas bordering China, not only to escape from armed conflicts but also to search for food. This situation would lead to increased threats from the North's weapons and missiles, leading to a military intervention from both Washington and Beijing.
But RAND said it is highly unlikely that the two countries will engage in a direct war.
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