Beverley Turner is Leading Britain's Conversation.
26 August 2017, 20:42
North Korea has warned the United Kingdom faces a 'miserable end' if it joins Donald Trump in menacing the country.
This is not much of a threat. We like miserable ends. All of our soap operas end miserably every week and practically half the country watches at least one of them.
We enjoy being steeped in misery. We actively seek out anguish and despair. Watching our fellow country-people suffering in torment and grief is how we like to spend our spare time.
Lil' Fat Kim can blow it out of his hat. We can take all the woe he can send. It's like catnip to us. Despondency is our default setting.
He doesn't know this, of course. He imagines that threatening us with imminent doom will help us make our minds up about following the Orange Nightmare in the Whitehouse in his bellicose cage-rattling.
The truth is that both leaders, the dictator and the wannabe, are playing to their own people when they are shouting at foreign governments. They are both engaged in a show of strength.
They are like two bullies in the playground that are goading each other to throw the first punch. Neither actually wants to fight but they have a crowd around them now and the more they threaten, the harder it will be to back down without losing face.
That is where the rest of us come in, because in a playground, only the two combatants might get hurt. With these two leaders of nations, the reverse is true. Everyone outside their nuclear bomb-proof shelters are going to be the ones that suffer.
Kim will be fine in his underground lair. He will have a lifetime supply of cake and a fluffy white cat to stroke.
Donald Trump will have his bunker fully mirrored so that he might gaze on his presidential magnificence and tell himself that he is doing a fantastic job. Probably the best President of all time. Everybody says so.
Kim Jong-un is running a country full of people that may have some idea that the world outside their domain is a better place than the one they inhabit.
They probably imagine that those over the border are better fed and might have more in the way of amusements than watching Kim's relatives getting executed by being tied across the business end of a canon.
By keeping his country on a permanent war footing, and stoking the paranoia of everything foreign, Kim is maintaining his grip on power.
Even if his people do not get the news, Kim must have seen the statues of toppled despots being pulled down with the help of the USA.
He needs to promote conflict with external enemies to stay in power. Unfortunately, so does Donald Trump.
His approval ratings at home are lower than those for herpes. He has achieved almost nothing and is stymied at every turn, often by members of his own party. A good way out would be to have a nice little war to get the country and the media on-side, even for a short while.
This bank holiday Monday, a military exercise led by the US begins just south of the North Korean border. That is one reason for the heightened tension in the region.
The Korean Central News Agency said: 'We solemnly warn not only the US...but also satellites, including the UK and Australia, which are taking advantage of the present war manoeuvres against the North.'
State media showed Lil' Fat Kim standing next to a diagram of an intercontinental ballistic missile more powerful than any it has previously tested.
Either they plan to bomb America with a diagram, or they are pursuing the ability to strike at any place on the American mainland.
Can I recommend Florida? It's too hot and there's mosquitoes there the size of Volkswagens.
North Korea's military said there will be 'merciless retaliation and unsparing punishment' on the United States over the drills that begin on Monday for an 11-day run.
Those exercises were planned long in advance but are coming at the worst time for international relations and, potentially, the survival of Mankind.
And just when it seemed to be going in the right direction, after Trump claimed Kim was starting to 'respect' him and that Trump respected anyone that respects him.
Things looked positive for a brief moment before the North Korean response.
They said Trump was 'weird'.
Maybe they do get the news there after all.