Think back a few years to the war in Korea when our best Western armies fought gallantly to dissuade Russian and Chinese Communist Northern forces from taking over in the South. It worked well for a while until the decidedly overweight Kim Jong-Un started making provocative noises about how he was going to deal with the North's perceived enemies, and particularly the United States. Initially, no one took this lunatic seriously. He was after all little more than a tubby joke - albeit with some support from China. But until recently, China wasn't taken too seriously on the international political scene. That has now changed, however. The Chinese are beginning to make an impact internationally, both economically and politically.
Many strategic analysts now see Kim Jong-Un and the North Koreans as Chinese pawns who may act in a way that is instigated by Beijing - although not publicly. This could have serious implications for all of us in the West. A few days ago, tubby Kim Jong-Un did yet another ballistic missile test. He makes a point of telling us that North Korea's missiles are inter-continental and could hit the US west coast - with Los Angeles and San Francisco as possible targets. And who knows - but in a year or two the US east coast and Europe may come within range for loony Kim's missiles with nuclear attachments.
So we could be hit and eliminated, at least partially, by a crazy guy from nowheresville . Our new US President Donald Trump has retaliated - at least verbally - on Western media channels. He has suggested that China should rein in the babbling Kim. But if it doesn't, then Mr Trump has indicated that the US might take whatever action is necessary to curtail the threats from Kim Jong-Un. We're thinking now perhaps along the lines of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when the US decidedly quashed Japanese warmongers with nuclear correctives. Logically, one might expect the Chinese President Xi Jimping to be doing whatever was necessary to curtail the proposed activities of North Korea's Kim Jong-Un.
But perhaps it makes more sense for the Chinese to simply give the impression that they are not condoning what Kim Jong-Un says in public. Maybe the Chinese are perhaps colluding with the North Koreans. They might even be supplying them with nuclear clean or dirty bombs, which could be attached to Kim Jong-Un's intercontinental ballistic missiles. Then it's just a question of when might the first strike come from North Korea to the US west coast and how would President Trump respond?
Think possibly of a nuclear hit on a target in California. The bomb lands - as indeed it could - on Los Angeles or San Francisco, or even San Jose if American technologists were Kim Jong Un's target. Nice young men and women would suddenly be endangered - or indeed eliminated - in their hundreds of thousands. It is a grim prospect - but it could happen. President Trump would then of course respond from Washington, New York or his weekend place in Florida. US nuclear missiles could be launched to hit, initially Pyongyang in North Korea, but then, very possibly, China. This would quickly precipitate Chinese retaliation that could hit, not just the United States, but a swathe of NATO and European allies, with Russia watching nervously from the side lines.
We can envisage dark nuclear clouds all over the world with casualties possibly in millions. Our planet as we know it would be severely devastated. It would be difficult to see any constructive routes forward. So perhaps initiatives need to be taken - and soon. President Trump could have yet another meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida or Washington. Alternatively, he could target a few missiles on Kim Jong-Un and his associates in the North Korean capital at Pyongyang.