We're all about to die in a third world war caused by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un – but at least it has comedy value

It’s as if we found out the dinosaurs didn’t become extinct because of a massive meteor striking the Earth, but when a clumsy stegosaurus got his fin caught in a tree, and all the others tripped over him and couldn’t get back up again

Mark Steel
Thursday 17 August 2017 12:35 BST
Mark Steel: The upsides of burning in a nuclear holocaust from North Korea

If we’re to cease as a species in nuclear destruction, it will at least be heartening to know that it was caused by two of the most ridiculous people who ever lived.

Science fiction stories in which the world ends usually involve ferocious dictators who stand on tanks and roar about mighty empires, but this will be like getting wiped out by Keith Chegwin and the bloke off the Yorkshire Broadband advert.

It’s as if we found out the dinosaurs didn’t become extinct because of a massive meteor striking the Earth, but when a clumsy stegosaurus got his fin caught in a tree, and all the others tripped over him and couldn’t get back up again.

Trump’s team are good at the threats, so his Defence Secretary James Mattis said if North Korea doesn’t comply with American demands, it will face the “end of their regime and destruction of its people”.

So not only will they kill the entire population, but they’ll end the regime as well, even if the sneaky North Koreans try to keep the regime going without any people by putting squirrels in charge.

The North Koreans retaliated by saying: “This is extremely getting on the nerves of the artillerymen of the army.” So this is another side of our annihilation we can look forward to: the North Korean press statements will sound like the instructions you get with a Korean kettle.

We’ll be told North Korea’s Great Leader has issued an ultimatum to US forces that goes: “Place army unit persons much here and there but not here to prevent loading capsule B engaging much with exploding sprocket.”

Trump’s own speech was to warn of “fire and fury”, and a “devastating onslaught, the likes of which the world has never seen”.

This isn’t a political conflict; it’s the press conference of cage-fighters advertising their title fight. Next week Trump and Kim Jong-un will be behind a desk wearing shades as Trump screams: “I’m gonna whack your goddam North Korean ass, fat boy, your north side ain’t never gonna meet your south side again, you’ll be split along every one of your 38 parallels, you pussy!”

And Kim Jong-un will shout back: “When we place bombing module D to radioaction sprinkle Alaska destroyment, then smiling wiped off orange face!”

Then security guards will hold them both back and we’ll be reminded we can watch the whole event, known as “Judgement Day”, for £11.95 on pay-per-view.

In Trump’s defence, many people have grumbled that he hasn’t been behaving like a proper US president, and that by threatening a war at exactly the same time as his popularity has plummeted, he’s doing exactly what all the others do.

To become truly presidential, he’d have to launch a war against North Korea for not scrapping its missiles, then it would have to turn out they didn’t have any in the first place.

North Koreans stage massive rally in show of defiance against Donald Trump

He’s learning the presidential trick of picking global fights with people he describes as evil when he wasn’t bothered about their existence a few months ago. Before his election he said he had little interest in North Korea, and was annoyed that the US was paying for bases in South Korea and “getting nothing back”.

To be fair, it sounds as if he wasn’t certain why a country has military bases, and called the army in to tell them: “We’ve spent billions on aeroplanes and guns and you haven’t shown a profit once in 50 years. Put a golf course on that aircraft carrier or I’ll shut you down.”

One of the difficulties is, because the US has told so many stories in the past to justify a war, there’s no way of knowing how much of what they say about North Korea’s nuclear weapons is true.

Trump told us in April: “We are sending an armada. Very powerful.” But this armada turned out to be travelling away from North Korea, which doesn’t carry quite the same threat. If Trump had been in charge of the D-Day landings, he’d have assembled all the ships on the South Coast, and then instead of heading for France, asked the navy to carry the boats inland to Croydon.

Maybe he’ll do this with nuclear missiles, putting out a tweet that says: “Bad dictators very bad! We launch huge missile big explosions. Amazing! Fabulous!” Then he’ll blow up a cats’ home in Florida.

North Korea threatens Guam attack plan after Trump's 'fire and fury' warning

So we’re told the North Koreans can now send their missiles “halfway round the world”. Is that accurate? If it is, this is a real worry because with a three-dimensional object such as the Earth, if you can go halfway round the world, that means you can bomb anywhere in the world – doesn’t it? What would be the point in developing a missile that could go all the way round the world, unless the North Korean plan is to send them right round the Earth to back where they started and bomb themselves?

The Pentagon has also told us the missiles will be ready “by the middle of the month”. So they’re not ready yet but will be by next Tuesday. They must be putting in a digital radio and an air freshener as these ones are the deluxe models.

According to the news we receive, however, half their missiles have been duds. It’s possible the North Korean missiles can only be launched if they’re stood up at the end of a garden in a milk bottle.

When he became President, Trump said: “I would be prepared to talk one-on-one with Kim Jong-un”, and the main hope must be that they do this, and agree to a swap. Every six months, we in the West get the Great Leader, and they get Trump. No one will notice the difference, and we’ll all live happily in peace.

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