As Donald Trump and Kim Jong En exchange threats of warfare, and flex their nuclear muscles, fear of military escalation grips the world. Concerns about the judgment and impulse of the two heads of state have exacerbated the unease felt by many and has created a sense of Fear And Loathing for both world leaders.

Belligerence and emotional reflex

The world has come to see North Koreas frequent displays of military might as that of a belligerent nation with access to nuclear arms. And While their missile launches and tests of nuclear prowess may fray some political nerves, the US government had taken a cautious wait and see, largely sanction imposing approach so far.

Enter Donald Trump who campaigned on an “America First” platform, but has quickly abandoned this promise to focus on international wars. The emotional reflex bombing of a Syrian airbase was ordered by Trump when images of babies suffering the effects of chemical bombs surfaced. His actions have left some wondering whether wars will be started based on emotion, impulse, or the unpredictability of the leader.

A question of temperament in the nuclear age

During the election campaign, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats made the point repeatedly that Donald Trump cannot be trusted with the nuclear codes and gave a blistering comment on the dangers of a Trump presidency. She called his ideas dangerous, “a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies” and said that he was “temperamentally unfit” to hold the office of president which requires stability, knowledge, and responsibility.

She also said that it was not difficult to imagine Donald Trump “leading us into war just because someone got under his thin skin” His lack of knowledge, temperament, feuding behaviour and twitter rants were all used against the Republican candidate during the election campaign. Will he declare war based on “feelings,” rational decision making or a 3 AM tweet from the comfort of his Mar-a-lago resort?

Escalating tensions

In less than 100 days, Trump as president has declared that the policy of "strategic patience" with North Korea is over and backed it by diverting warships and an aircraft carrier from Australia to the Korean Peninsula. He further escalated tensions with talk and tweets. The one on April 11 read “North Korea is looking for trouble.

If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”

Dire warnings from North Korea

On the other side of the face off, dire warnings came from a spokesman from North Korea of “catastrophic consequences" for US actions and that they were ready for any mode of war. He also stated that they will hold the US fully accountable for the catastrophic consequences that result from their outrageous actions. North Korea has so far conducted five nuclear tests which are viewed by the USA as aggression. Their attempt to launch a missile on Sunday was unsuccessful according to reports, which may give the world some hope or cause increasing fear and loathing.

Can two perceived loose cannons, in possession of the keys to nuclear launches threaten world peace?