Kim Jong-un’s campaign to develop a nuclear missile to strike the East Coast of the US is driving the two powers towards an inevitable conflict, warned Admiral Lord West.

The former First Sea Lord chillingly predicted there is a “real” risk the US will be left with no choice but to launch a “massive strike” against North Korea.

He said it was “inconceivable” any US President – whether it was Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton – would allow “barking mad” Kim to obtain a nuclear ICBM.

Admiral West told Daily Star Online: “The consequences will be catastrophic and it really worries me.
“I don’t believe any American president will allow Kim Jong-un to be in a position to say ‘you give me some more food and stop these sanctions, otherwise I am going to destroy San Francisco’.”

The Falklands war veteran previously warned the world is at highest risk of nuclear strike in “decades” as conflicts flare in the Pacific, the Middle East and between Russia and the US.

He said: “It is inconceivable the American nation would allow Kim Jong-un to develop a ballistic missile which actually has a functional warhead that can carried to strike the western United State.”

The top Brit military mind blasted nuclear-hungry Kim as “barking mad” and emphasised the looming North Korea crisis is a “real worry”.

He said there is a risk the US may be forced into launching a “massive strike with bombers and cruise missiles” to ensure Pyongyang cannot develop a weapon capable of either striking or holding the western seaboard to ransom”.

Admiral Lord said Trump would not risk using nuclear weapons against North Korea as it would be “globally appalling”.

Nukes have not been used in a conflict since the US dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan to end World War 2.

China are also a major factor in the North Korea crisis – sharing the largest land border with the rogue state – and are reported to have placed bombers on alert alongside 150,000 soldiers in case of war with Trump.

There are fears of a flood of refugees spilling over the borders from the collapsing state should the US strike, pouring into both China and Russia.

Admiral Lord West said: “If I was the Americans and it keeps going on like this. I would say to China we will not station forces in a unified Korea.

“The unification of Korea would make the unification of Germany at the end of the Cold War look like chicken feed.

“North Korea is so different from the South and so poor in so many ways, it would be a gigantic drain on them.”

Russia have flooded tanks and soldiers towards land border with North Korea amid fears of a looming strike by the US on Pyongyang, according to reports.

North Korea continue to talk-up war with the US, with Kim’s mouthpiece media promising a “super-mighty strike” against Washington.

South Korea have called for calm and said they would not allow any US action that was not supported and sanctioned by Seoul.