By Samuel Burke, CNN
A nuclear conflict on the Korean peninsula could make the Chernobyl nuclear accident look like a “child's fairy tale” – that was the warming that came on Monday from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
After weeks of nuclear threats from North Korea, there is no evidence that North Korea is planning an imminent nuclear test.
But South Korea and the United States both say they would not be surprised if the North launched a missile later this week.
Whether that would be a hostile act or a test is anybody's guess. That’s the problem; very little is known about the new North Korean leadership and Kim Jong Un's intentions.
Gary Samore was President Obama's top nuclear adviser up until January. He also played a key role in the Clinton administration’s negotiation of an agreement to stop North Korea’s nuclear program.
“The North Koreans may very well launch another missile or conduct another missile test,” Samore told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “But I think most of their threats to take military action are probably just theatrics – designed to intimidate and frighten people.”
In other words, Samore believes the North Korean will do something, but more likely it will be some type of test. He said that has certainly been the pattern in the past.
Samore believes that South Korea and/or the United States have to send North Korea’s young leader a “warning message” for him to know he must not go too far, but send this message without provoking him. At the same time, Samore said the North Koreans must be careful not to alienate China, their ally, which sends essentials supplies across the border.
In the video above you can see Amanpour’s entire interview with Samore.