DEFCON analysts have claimed there will be further North Korean missile tests “much sooner than expected”.

Rebecca Pinnington

Experts warned of the burgeoning conflict between North Korea and the US as they announced the latest Defcon condition code.

And they predicted the US would jump at the chance to declare war on Kim Jong-un’s hermit state.

Defcon has monitored and analysed nuclear threats against the US since 1984, and classes the immediacy of the threat numerically and by colour.

The US is currently at Defcon 5, code Green, meaning there are no imminent nuclear threats against the country.

However, despite the low threat level, analysts have warned of increasingly volatile international politics which could plunge the globe into war.

Despite increasing international pressure, North Korea has refused to give up its nuclear weapons, saying they are non-negotiable.

The secretive dictatorship is likely to continue testing, provoking further international outcry, according to Defcon.

Speaking about the latest North Korean nuclear test, which flew for longer than any previously tested missile, Defcon said: “This test took a number of experts by surprise, and many warn that North Korea is rapidly advancing its ICBM capabilities.

Analysts believe Donald Trump wants to start a war with Kim Jong-un, but lacks allies

“South Korea believes that North Korea may complete its nuclear program in 2018. Additionally, North Korea is continuing work at expanding the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site.

“We are likely to see another nuclear test much sooner than most experts predicted.”

Defcon has also outlined the belief that the US wants to use military force against North Korea, as this is the only way it can conceive of stopping Kim Jong-un’s nuclear programme.

However, it does not have the support to attack first, and so is “hoping North Korea will provide the provocation necessary to attack”.

Kim Jong-un is set to test more nuclear missiles 'sooner than expected'

Kim Jong-un is set to test more nuclear missiles ‘sooner than expected’

Defcon does not see nuclear war as imminent, but believes both sides will continue to provoke each other throughout 2018.

Its report also highlights the issues of the US recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Russia’s new military bases in Egypt and nuclear plants in Iran, and China’s growing strength, which could cause global tensions.

The warning comes after a year of aggressive nuclear testing by Kim Jong-un resulted in North Korea declaring itself as a nuclear power, sparking US anger.

Defcon’s warnings are not linked to the government or to military readiness for nuclear war.