North Korea's latest missile attacks and their withdrawal from the armistice with the US could escalate to become a new chapter of the Korean war. ++ "The combination of aggressive behavior and succession questions is a dangerous mixture." ++ Both North and South Korea have reasons to avoid a new war. ++ Though the US has largely refrained from "sabre rattling," if a new conflict did break out "US defensive plans may be tough to implement as 175,000 troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq." ++ "In this time China's role will be key."