Lindsey Graham has had an up and down relationship with US president Donald Trump but appears to be backing his stance on North Korea. One of the most concerning trends of late has been the escalation in rhetoric by the president. The senator said in an interview with the BBC that he was 100 percent certain that the U.S. would attack North Korea if they continued to develop missile technology that can hit America.

North Korea fires a missile over Japan

On Tuesday 29 August this year, a North Korean missile was fired over the Japanese island of Hokkaido, landing in the Pacific ocean.

This was Pyongyang's most provocative move in years and drew strong condemnation from the US, Japan, and South Korea.

This test came after a recent threat by Pyongyang to attack Guam which has been a U.S territory since 1898. Guam lies south of Japan in the Pacific ocean, the US have a military base there and the Island has a population of over 160,000 people.

A sixth nuclear test

On Sunday 3 September the North carried out an underground nuclear test so powerful that it caused landslides and the tremors were felt over the border in China. This was not the first nuclear test undertaken by North Korea but is the most concerning .This bomb was up to eight times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

If this bomb could be loaded onto a long range missile such as the one fired over Japan, it could potentially reach U.S. soil. This could result in the U.S to needing to strike before this is a possibility.

The U.S. has made clear their intent to bring a new UN resolution for tougher sanctions in response to this latest nuclear test.

Russian Leader Vladimir Putin reportedly said he believes these sanctions will be useless, stating that they'd "rather eat grass than give up their nuclear program."

What is expected to happen if a war does occur

While the U.S. has 40,000 military personnel stationed in Japan and 35,000 in South Korea, it is understood that in an all out war the North could still do much damage to South Korea before it’s inevitable military loss.

According to David Maxwell, a U.S. army Korea veteran, within the first hours of a conflict “hundreds of thousands of artillery rounds and rockets would be fired into the south.” Seoul, South Korea’s capital city of approximately 10 million people, is just 35 miles from the border with North Korea.

John Negroponte, who was U.S. deputy secretary of state between 2007-2009, said that a war would be akin to a holocaust.

All parties must hope a diplomatic solution can be found before further escalation occurs.