“Do you really believe that war with North Korea is inevitable?

That was the question posed to iconoclastic, best-selling author Jim Rickards in his new “Real Conversation” with Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough this week.

“This is the hardest problem I have ever worked on,” he says. “And I’ve worked on some pretty hard problems.”

According to Rickards, the answer is yes—war in North Korea is inevitable. “You’re going to get a war there one way or another,” he says.

The fundamental question is whether North Korea has created a warhead that can be married with a missile and fire it with some degree of accuracy. The answer to that question will ultimately determine what eventually unfolds. If the answer is no, then the probability of war is “extremely high,” due to the benefits of preemption Rickards says.

He adds that this could be the first time in history that a nuclear power conducts a first strike against another nuclear power.

One thing is clear, Rickards says, “The U.S. is not going to trade Seattle for Seoul.”

Click here to watch the full interview.

Rickards: War In North Korea Is Inevitable - market edges