Trump's boasting on Twitter
US President Donald Trump has once again crossed swords with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the conflict over North Korea's nuclear and missile programme. The nuclear button on his desk is bigger and more powerful than that of the DPRK, Trump tweeted on Tuesday. Is he only escalating the conflict with his boasting?
US-President refuting his own unpredictability
Trump is starting 2018 in the same way he ended 2017: with Twitter attacks against his adversaries, US correspondent Jean-Cosme Delaloye writes in La Tribune de Genève:
“The US president, who is always at pains to maintain his image as an unpredictable leader unfettered by White House diplomatic norms, is facing the new year in the guise of a man who is after all predictable and imprisoned in his own aggressive rhetoric. The fact is, however, that American foreign policy has until now been more traditional than Trump's bellicose tweets would have one believe. US Secretary of Defence James Mattis, National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seem to have managed to persuade the president to give diplomacy with Iran and North Korea a chance.”
Kim playing his strategic trump cards
Trump's comparison could cause the US to lose out vis-à-via a Kim who is willing to compromise, Der Standard writes:
“If Kim starts coming across as predictable, China and Russia will soon see no reason to maintain their sanctions at the current level. ... Trump may be better than Kim at imagining big 'nuclear buttons' on his desk - which according to experts is the last place they would be. Perhaps it will turn out - in the figurative sense - that the US president's button really is more powerful than North Korea's. But that's not all that counts. Because while Trump proudly tweets that he can commit even greater atrocities than Kim, the latter is playing his strategic trump cards.”