Could the war of words between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump escalate into a new Korean War, with both sides armed with nuclear missiles?
Fire and fury… like this Earth has never seen. Are Trump and Kim edging closer to this?
Hi. I’m Leon Hawthorne. In Kim Jong-un, Donald Trump has found a perfect match. The two are equally cartoonish in their absurdity.
So, when they throw hyperbole at each other across the Pacific, part of me wants to laugh… as if this were a fake wrestling match, with no hero on either side.
However, it’s deadly serious and the consequences of mis-calibration could be apocalyptic.
Let’s not let our distaste for Trump cloud our judgment of what’s going on here and who’s principally at fault.
Kim Jong-un is a little fat dictator of a land, where the starving masses are forced to eat grass. He has assassinated his own family members and would not think twice about bombing his neighbours IF he could get away with it. And that’s the point.
When his regime threatened to fire a missile at the US island of Guam, any US President would have been derelict in his duty had he not publicly warned Kim he faced annihilation if he did so.
But Kim has nuclear weapons, so if intelligence suggests he’s about to use them, it would be right for the US to nuke him first.
Clearly, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of people being vaporised in North Korea, South Korea and possibly Japan.
So, it would be wise for all sides to pause before doing something which sets of this train of events.
My fear is the American political pysche has a constant need to find enemies and to build up each enemy to the status of a Hitler.
The problem with North Korea has been simmering since 9/11 when George W. Bush was President.
President George W. Bush: “North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction while starving its citizens. States like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.”
President Bush went on to warn: North Korea and Iran might well provide dirty bombs to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, who would not hesitate to use them in western capitals.
And that’s true, while state actors are unlikely to start an open war and risk retaliation, Islamist terrorists are not so rational and have nothing to lose.
So, whilst it is hypocritical for NATO and other nuclear states to argue: we can have the nuclear weapons, but other nations cannot, on the whole, we can trust the Russians and Chinese… even Pakistan… to act responsibly. That is not the case with North Korea, a country that meets any textbook definition of “rogue nation”.
But as Churchill said: jaw jaw is better than war war. The ideal solution is for the White House to try to repair the damaged relations it has with North Korea and so many countries around the world.
The fault historically lay with the United States for its incursions into Korea, Iran, other mideast, African and Latin American nations, going back to the Cold War.
If America expended a fraction of the time and money it spent preparing for war on resolving long standing diplomatic grievances, it would reduce hostility and the desire in these countries to do it harm.
Trump and Kim might never be best buddies, but like the US and China or the US and Russia, they could learn to cohabit without the constant threat of war in the background.
I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thanks for watching.