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US-Iran crisis spells opportunity for China and North Korea

Latest clash in Middle East again stalls America's military pivot to Asia

From left: U.S. President Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei, and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Source photos by Reuters/AP)

TOKYO -- Rising tensions in the Middle East recently brought the U.S. and Iran to the brink of war. Although a full-blown conflict was averted, the world is not out of the woods yet, as the two adversaries show no signs of resolving differences.

Even if U.S. President Donald Trump and Iranian leaders have no intention of waging war, history shows that minor skirmishes can sometimes have catastrophic consequences. World War I was triggered by the assassination of the heir to the Austria-Hungary throne. A shooting at the Marco Polo Bridge in 1937 resulted in the Sino-Japanese war.

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