August 10, 2017 9:37 am

COMMENTARY: Can Trump be taken seriously?

U.S. President Donald Trump said earlier this week that any threat from North Korea would be met with 'fire and fury.'

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

In the wake of the escalation in tensions between North Korea and the United States, the overarching question is: would either one of those two unhinged leaders actually ‘push the button’ to begin a nuclear conflict?

The revelation that North Korea has developed ICBM (Intercontinental ballistic missile) capability is certainly deeply concerning, but of equal concern is whether the bombast from U.S. President Donald Trump is acting as an accelerant to the powder keg?

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REALITY CHECK: Why a nuclear war likely won’t break out

Trump’s comments that North Korean aggression will be met with “fire and fury such as the world has never seen” had the same apocalyptic overtones that we’ve heard from Kim Jung-un and Saddam Hussein before him.

But can Trump be taken seriously?

The leaked tape of his phone call with Mexican President Pena Nieto may be instructive.

After months of boasting that he would make Mexico pay for the wall between the two countries, Trump is heard pleading with the Mexican President not to state publicly that they will not pay, because such a statement would hurt Trump’s image with his supporters.

READ MORE: U.S. acting like a ‘naughty, spoiled child’ over North Korea, Russian minister says

G20 leaders are also realizing that there is more bark than bite to Trump’s bombastic rants.

That said, we can’t be dismissive of the Trump rhetoric.

Trump may be a Paper Tiger, but he’s a Paper Tiger with the nuclear codes with a propensity for irrational behaviour and that may be the biggest threat of all.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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