The relationship between North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump is blossoming into a bizarre love affair.

Each has found the other that truly understands them. The need that is expressed in their "war of words" is almost embarrassing.

Kim has been threatening Armageddon on South Korea, Japan and America for years. Now though he has a sparring partner who relishes the rhetoric of "fire and fury" as much as he does.

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For Kim this is all fine material to inject an endorphin stimulating dose of nationalism into his compatriots. America the arch enemy, Kim Jong-un the defender of the people.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

Dictatorships without an enemy don't tend to last. Neither do presidents beset with domestic controversies.

For Trump, then, the North Korean crisis is to be milked for all it's worth. Issuing threats to exterminate millions of people - "yes, I really will push the button"- is the most convincing performance I've seen Trump give since becoming President. He's obviously enjoying himself.

United States President Donald Trump.
United States President Donald Trump.

But before we scare ourselves and our children with the possibility of imminent nuclear war, it might be worth considering some facts on the ground and what's actually at stake.

Let's start with North Korea. A dirt poor country ruled by an unelected elite desperately worried about two things.

Firstly, that the peasant and working class population will rise-up and overthrow the regime, leading to likely unification with South Korea.

Secondly, that the United States and South Korea will use conventional military force to topple them, as happened to Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Colonel Gaddafi in Libya.

The United States has battleships permanently in the region and 35,000 troops stationed in South Korea.

Every year US and South Korean forces practice hugely expensive war games. South Korea's military expenditure being equal to the entire economy of North Korea.

So it's not unreasonable for the North Korean regime to conclude that it needs nuclear capability. Not as an offensive weapon, but as a defensive one, to deter any Iraq-style invasion.

North Korea may or may not have one or two missiles with nuclear warheads. Many people who are experts on North Korea have doubts.

But the regime is desperate to convince the world, and the North Korean people, that it does. Hence the over-the-top rhetoric and mass rallies organised, no doubt, through intimidation and fear.

As for the United States, its policy towards North Korea has never been about achieving a peaceful solution.

Because without fear in South Korea and Japan of a dangerous North Korea, what reason would there be for thousands of US troops to be stationed in South Korea and Japan?

Which brings us to an important factor in the current "crisis", and that is events in South Korea.

A liberal politician, Moon Jae-In, who leads a party similar to our Labour Party, was elected in May this year. He favours peaceful unification with North Korea and wants to establish a dialogue with the North Korean regime and greater economic cooperation.

Many of Moon's supporters want US troops out of South Korea. This is what the United States definitely doesn't want, focused as it is on maintaining a military presence in Asia as part of its primary strategic goal of containing China.

Be concerned about what's going on, but for different reasons than both Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump would have you believe.