A former US spy chief warned that he fears a war of words between US President Donald Trump and North Korea could "spiral" out of control into global military conflict.
James Clapper, the ex-Director of National Intelligence, warned the two countries could "blunder" into a Third World War as they exchange escalating hostilities.
Clapper's caution came after the US President further ramped up the rhetoric of the nuclear stand-off, vowing North Korea risked being "in trouble like few nations have ever been".
He suggested he had not been "tough enough" when he threatened to unleash "fire and fury" in retaliation to threats by Pyongyang, which responded by claiming it was formulating plans to fire missiles at the US territory of Guam.
"I do worry that this game of rhetoric chicken is going to become self-fulfilling," Clapper told CNN Tonight.
"The President has kind of drawn a red line here and has implied - more than implied - [he would] take some direct action just based on the things that the North Koreans say, which to me is not very responsible."
Clapper, Barack Obama's intelligence chief from August 2010 until January this year, added he was worried "that this will spiral out of further control".
"It's somewhat reminiscent to me of the history of World War I and how the world kind of blundered into that. I hope people learn from history here and don't repeat that," he said.
But he added: "I don't think we are there yet. I think there is still time for other measures. Sanctions, diplomacy, all those kind of things."
Source: The Independent, Edited by website team