As the President of the United States, Donald Trump, and North Korea's Kim Jong-Un taunt each other with talk of missiles and nuclear weapons, it is important for the rest of us - watching as they threaten each other with war - realise that this is all about them.

It has very little to do with the people they lead.

There was a time when the decision to go to war required some serious thought by a ruler.

The leader was expected to be at the front of the army. Combat was face to face; it required getting up close and personal with spear, sword or club.

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This provided great incentive for a leader to consider how badly they wanted to fight. The prospect of dying along with your soldiers mollified some of enthusiasm.

The concept of leading an army from behind the frontlines is a recent phenomenon that came along with the advent of weapons that could kill from a distance.

Once it became possible to kill an enemy hundreds of yards away, rulers tended to stay well back from the fighting. This made it possible to flee should it all go wrong - called a strategic retreat or running away, depending on who was telling the story.

Both Trump and Kim know that should the proverbial nuclear missiles hit the fan, they will be hunkered down in a bunker safe from the mayhem.

This sense of personal safety is what makes them both so dangerous. Neither they nor their families are likely to die along with their people in a catastrophic war.

This is how it is for Kim - aka Superior Person, The Great Sun of Life, Great Sun of The Nation. Father of the Nation, World Leader of The 21st Century, Peerless Leader, Bright Sun of the 21st Century, Great Sun of the 21st Century, Leader of the 21st Century, Amazing Politician, Great Man, Glorious General, Who Descended From Heaven, Supreme Leader of the Nation, Bright Sun of Juche, Leader of the Party and the People, Great Marshal, Invincible and Triumphant General, Dear Father, Guiding Star of the 21st Century, Great Man Who Is a Man of Deeds, Great Defender, Saviour, Mastermind of the Revolution, Highest Incarnation of the Revolutionary Comradeship, His Excellence and Eternal General Secretary of the Party.

And how it is for Donald Trump - warmonger, serial liar, insulter of Mexicans, women, African Americans, immigrants, Muslims, NFL and NBA players, various world leaders and anyone who doesn't agree with him.

Winston Peters is not in the same league, thank goodness.

He is only a threat to our national sense of perspective but he does seem to have the classic politicians' focus on looking after themselves, maintaining the power, the perks and the pension while blaming others (including the media) for everything.

-Terry Sarten (aka Tel) is a writer, musician, satirista, social worker - feedback: tgs@inspire.net.nz