Ali Kirker: Fire and fury? I’ve got my own F-word for you, Donald Trump… frightening

President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on the opioid crisis, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on the opioid crisis, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WHAT are we to make of the sabre-rattling of two powerful global leaders?

For some, the war of words between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is just that – an entertaining soap opera-style spat between two controversial chiefs who are rarely out of the headlines.

What’s Donald tweeted now? Has he really said that if North Korea continue to expand their nuclear and missile programmes he would “unleash fire and fury like the world has never seen”?

Did North Korea really hit back by saying the warning was “a load of nonsense” and outline plans to launch four missiles towards the US territory of Guam?

For others of a certain age, it all brings back memories of the bad old days of the Cold War.

The US and Russia might never have actually fought each other with weapons.

But at its height in the ’70s and ’80s, news programmes never went for long without reporting on one threatening the other with nuclear annihilation.

Maybe I was an unusual child, but for the 11-year-old me, it was all downright frightening.

It didn’t help when a newspaper “helpfully” printed a map showing all the areas in Scotland that would be targeted should the tension escalate.

For the childish me, seeing targets fewer than five miles from my house was nothing short of terrifying.

And now it feels like we’ve come full circle.

Practically the first thing one of my sons asked me on Tuesday morning was if I’d heard “what Trump was saying about North Korea”.

Think I’m over-reacting and it would never happen? I hope you’re right.

Let’s be more optimistic. I’m sure you are.

But you don’t have to search very hard to find out that Donald Trump has long had a fascination with nuclear weapons.

In an interview in 1990, he said nuclear war was “a very important element in my thought process”.

At the time he was a businessman. Nowhere near the political superpower he somehow is today.

As for Kim Jong-un, he seems to be enjoying winding Trump up.

Is it just one big game of my weapon is bigger than yours?

You can’t help but wonder how history will judge this period.

Kim Jong-un wasn’t elected by his people in a process of democracy, but Americans chose Trump as their leader.

Am I the only one who is still gobsmacked at this fact?

And, although Barack Obama’s presidency was not judged by commentators to have been an outstanding success, I never truly thought he’d go nuclear.

I’m not so sure about Trump.

While some of his team are encouraging North Korea to open a dialogue, Trump keeps ramping up the tough talk.

He just can’t get enough of it.

Hopefully it is just that. It’s not exactly Presidential, but we’ve become used to that since he took office.

I’m sure I’m over-thinking it.

Then again, who said this?

“The greatest of all stupidities is people believing it will never happen.”

Yes, Trump again, talking about using nuclear weapons.

I hope our children and grandchildren aren’t as scared as the 11-year-old me.

Then again, how could they not be?