North Korea and its supreme leader Kim Jong Un pose one of the biggest threats to the world, former Defense Secretary William Cohen told CNBC on Friday.
"I would put that as one of the most treacherous spots on the planet right now," Cohen told "Squawk Box." "[Kim Jong Un] could take action and do something, either by miscalculation or intentionally, that would cause an overreaction by us and our allies in the region."
On Monday, North Korea fired four nuclear-capable ballistic missiles toward the Sea of Japan, three of which landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone. The United States responded by deploying defensive THAAD missiles in South Korea. elevating tensions even more, including with China.
Cohen, chairman and CEO of The Cohen Group, said North Korea could seize on the court-ordered removal on Friday of South Korean President Park Geun-hye from office because of a corruption scandal.
"I suspect that Kim Jong Un will try to exploit the confusion at the moment," Cohen said, but added that the countervailing forces to his potentially rash military actions are in place.
"Our military has certainly been in touch with the Republic of Korea military, so I think from a security point of view, we're at a high state of readiness. And if the North Koreans try and do anything that would be precipitous, I think the South Koreans and the U.S. and the Japanese will all be ready to confront that," he said.