23% chance of war with North Korea
The threat of a nuclear crisis has been what has kept the modern world relatively peaceful. This instance is no different. According to Retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis, former NATO military chief, he views Kim Jong-un as a reasonable leader that is using nukes as leverage rather than a means to reunify the Korean peninsula. Holding nukes means a lower threat of U.S. or allies attacking, thus Kim keeping his regime in place.
It’s my belief that an unpredictable President Trump has the entire international community on edge. Nobody wants nuclear war, much less with characters such as Trump and Kim who may do just about anything to win. It is likely that Trump’s unpredictable behavior is uniting the international community to seek to reason with North Korea and implement sanctions or denuclearization in exchange for incentives.
I did take into account the possibility of a mishap on the side of North Korea. Their missile launches have not always been the most reliable and it did account for a +5 factor, the largest push on the likely scale. But even this isn’t that convincing either to arm an entire nation for all out war. It may warrant a level of retaliation, but I wouldn’t imagine boots on the ground. Still gave it a +5 for the unpredictability of it.
WAR OF WORDS
Now, this may be a bit out there, but I believe the possibility of Trump and Kim meeting is relatively high. And a meeting after an exchange of words may be more to acknowledge the megalomaniac in each of them. Don’t rule this out.
CHINA DOES NOT WANT WAR IN THEIR BACKYARD
This may be one of the strongest points here. China will do as much as possible to avoid U.S. influence to grow in Asia. In all likelihood, North Korea would lose a war against U.S. and allies. It would undoubtedly be a bloody and messy war that could end the lives for millions. A media disaster that would turn the world against North Korea for bombarding Seoul. China is cooperating in ways to sanction North Korea and may play a central role in lessening tensions amongst the two nations.