North Korea’s foreign minister has cited a local proverb in likening US President Donald Trump’s fiery rhetoric against his country to “a dog barking.”
“If he was thinking he could scare us with the sound of a dog barking, that’s really a dog dream,” Ri Yong Ho told reporters on Wednesday, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
This was a reference to a North Korean proverb that says a parade will go on even if dogs bark.
In Korean, a dog dream refers to an absurd fantasy that makes little sense, Yonhap said.
- Eduardo Munoz/Reuters
Ri issued the remarks in Korean outside his hotel in New York, where he’s attending the United Nations General Assembly this week.
This was also the nation’s first response to Trump’s speech to the UN on Tuesday, in which he threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” if Pyongyang didn’t back down on its nuclear threats.
Here’s the relevant passage from Trump:
“No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.
“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”
When asked about the US president’s “Rocket Man” remark, Ri said, “I feel sorry for his aides.”
Photographs of Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, looking down and covering his eyes during Trump’s speech went viral after the event. (Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said Kelly was “tired.”)
Other Trump aides have applauded Trump’s fiery UN speech.
“Every other international community is referring to him as Rocket Man,” Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said on the “Good Morning America” programme on Wednesday.
“Look, that’s a President Trump original. As you know, he’s a master in branding,” Huckabee Sanders told the TV show “Fox and Friends.”
North Korea is also no stranger to issuing inflammatory rhetoric against the US.
Following the latest round of US-drafted UN sanctions, which capped the nation’s crude-oil imports, North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, Han Tae Song, threatened to “make the US suffer the greatest pain it has ever experienced in its history.”