Of all the issues that the US should be focusing on in Asia and Africa, the focus has been put on North Korea, a tiny blip in the international order that has managed to get under America’s egotistical skin.

On Tuesday, President Trump threatened to respond to threats from North Korea by unleashing “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Pyongyang in turn threatened to strike the US territory of Guam in the Western Pacific with ballistic missiles.

This is how it is shaping up. China won’t come to North Korea’s help if it launches missiles threatening US soil and there is retaliation, a state-owned newspaper warned on Friday, but it would intervene if Washington strikes first. This was the Chinese position back in 1950 during the Korean war, when the American led UN forcibly crossed the Yalu river in Korea far enough to threaten China. At least China is consistent in its promise of non-intervention, and unlike the US Presidents, is not spewing strong threats. Aggression in diplomacy - telling the Koreans that the US is “locked and loaded”, and will bring “fire and fury” - are counterproductive and senseless. Haven’t the Iraqis, Syrians and Afghans had enough fire and fury, that the US goes and opens a war in China’s proximity?

Defence officials and military analysts say any new conflict with North Korea would likely escalate to the use of nuclear weapons, though it is not likely that there will be an actual conflict. North Korea has been flexing its military might in recent weeks and months with missile tests to the chagrin of the US. However, statements from North Korea suggest that no move will be made until the US attacks North Korea first. This is more a diplomatic and political crisis than anything else, and for President Trump a good way to connect with his core constituents who love war hysteria and catchy slogans with alliterations.