Amid the continuing discussions into what President Donald Trump meant when he threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” on Tuesday, the Economist magazine has produced a fitting cover image of where Trump’s unhinged rhetoric could lead us. And it’s not a reassuring image, to say the least.
MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin shared the image through a tweet on Tuesday afternoon. It features Kim Jong Un’ and Donald Trump’s likenesses in the form of a mushroom cloud.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 8, 2017
Cover artwork generally takes a long time to produce, so it’s more likely than not that the image of the mushroom cloud depicting North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump was already in the works before Trump made his controversial statements. Nevertheless, the artwork could not have been more timely.
President Trump alarmed the world on Tuesday when he stated to reporters that North Korea “best not make any more threats to the U.S.”
“They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump said, alluding to the possibility of a military strike on the peninsula. The words Trump used also raised fears of the preemptive use of nuclear weaponry in order to “solve” the threat that Pyongyang places on the United States.
The U.S. military and the administration earlier this year did not rule out the use of nuclear weapons to deal with North Korea.
Experts agree that an escalating situation with a foreign power like North Korea, which has achieved the ability to launch nuclear missiles, could be exacerbated by rhetoric from President Trump.
“Imagine we’re in a crisis — if he recklessly Tweets, people could read these things in the worst possible light,” Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear expert from Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said in December.
Whether discussing North Korea with reporters, like he did on Tuesday, or through the power of his thumbs on Twitter, Trump’s impulsive behavior could be a liability for the security of the rest of the nation.