- Thomson Reuters
President Donald Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “obviously a madman” and said he “will be tested like never before” in a tweet early Friday morning, following a week of escalating rhetoric between the two countries.
“Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!” Trump wrote shortly before 5:30 a.m. ET.
Kim had launched a salvo of threats aimed at the US president on Thursday. In a statement released by Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s state-sanctioned news organization, Kim described Trump’s rhetoric as “unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors.”
Kim’s statement was in response to Trump’s address at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday in which he dubbed the North Korean leader as “Rocket Man,” threatened to “totally destroy” the country, and admonished the country for its continued provocations.
“The speech made by the US president … on the UN arena in the prevailing serious circumstance, in which the situation on the Korean Peninsula has been rendered tense as never before and is inching closer to a touch-and-go state, is arousing worldwide concern,” Kim’s statement said.
“But, far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors,” the statement continued. “A frightened dog barks louder.”
North Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho later said his country may consider testing a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.
“It could be the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific,” Ri said. “We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong Un.”
Trump met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday, with Trump moving to impose new sanctions against the country.
- KCNA via Reuters
On Tuesday, during what was his first appearance before the UN General Assembly, Trump said Kim was “on a suicide mission” and asserted that if North Korea continued its provocations, the US would “have no choice but to totally destroy” the country.
“If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life,” Trump said at the UN on Tuesday. “It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict.”
North Korea continued to flex its military power with another missile test last week. It fired a missile over Hokkaido, Japan, forcing the country to issue public alerts for its residents. The test also came less than two weeks after North Korea tested what it said was a hydrogen bomb, which if true would be a massive boost for its weapons program.
Following the missile test, the UN Security Council delivered sanctions against the country, imposing a ban on North Korea’s textile exports and caps on crude-oil exports to North Korea. The sanctions, however, appeared to have little effect on Kim.
“Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation,” Kim’s statement said. “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire.”