Thursday 23rd November, 2017
-4 ℃ | 4 ℃Seoul

Trump’s war of words with Kim Jong Un upsets allies

Sheetal Sukhija - Monday 13th November, 2017

WASHINGTON, U.S. - U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent comments on the controversial North Korean leader has again drawn the ire of allies after he traded barbs with him on Saturday.

Following Trump’s speech in South Korea, Kim Jong Un called the U.S. President an “old lunatic.” 

In his speech delivered to the South Korean National Assembly, Trump warned North Korea, “Do not underestimate us. And do not try us. ... The weapons you're acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger. Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face."

Responding to his speech, Kim Jong Un’s government accused Trump of trying to demonize North Korea, keep it apart from the international community and undermine its government.

The North's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, "Reckless remarks by an old lunatic like Trump will never scare us or stop our advance. On the contrary, all this makes us more sure that our choice to promote economic construction at the same time as building up our nuclear force is all the more righteous, and it pushes us to speed up the effort to complete our nuclear force."

Trump slammed the North Korean leader as “short and fat.”

Trump tweeted on Saturday evening while in Vietnam, as part of his five-nation Asian trip, “Why would Kim Jong Un insult me by calling me ‘old’, when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend -- and maybe someday that will happen!” 

Trump’s agenda during the Asia trip, which involves visits to China, South Korea and other countries in the region is to get them to help put pressure on North Korea to curtail its pursuit of a nuclear weapons arsenal. 

Trump added on Saturday that he also spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the North Korea issue while in Vietnam earlier this weekend.

Following the tweets, at a news conference in Vietnam on Sunday, Trump said it was possible he could be friends with Kim Jong Un one day and that it would be “very, very nice” but he was not sure that it would happen.

Commenting on if he could see himself being friends with Kim Jong Un, Trump said, “That might be a strange thing to happen but it’s a possibility. If it did happen it could be a good thing, I can tell you, for North Korea, but it could also be good for a lot of other places and be good for the rest the world. It could be something that could happen. I don’t know if it will but it would be very, very nice.”

Trump’s renewed spat with North Korea comes just as three U.S. aircraft carriers were taking part in a military exercise in the Western Pacific in a show of strength to North Korea.

In a statement, U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Scott Swift said the triple-carrier drill, in which Japanese and South Korean vessels will also take part, was the first in the region since 2007.

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