Did Kim Jong Un call Donald Trump ‘dotard’ or ‘old beast lunatic’?

Some Twitter users said while Donald Trump may have won Round 1 by calling Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man”, the North Korean leader had taken Round 2 with “dotard”.

world Updated: Sep 22, 2017 18:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un,US President Donald Trump,UN General Assembly
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un responds to US President Donald Trump's speech at the UN General Assembly.(Reuters)

On Friday, web search engines the world over lit up with people looking for the obscure 14th century term “dotard”, which the Oxford Dictionary defines as “an old person, especially one who has become weak or senile”.

The reason? Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea’s regime, had used the late middle English word derived from “doten” (to dote) to refer to US President Donald Trump in a fiery speech.

Kim, who was responding to Trump’s speech at the UN General Assembly in which he had threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, used a lot of names and derogatory terms to refer to the American leader – including “mentally deranged”, “political layman” and “a gangster fond of playing with fire”.

The North Korean strongman rounded off his speech by warning to tame “the mentally deranged US dotard with fire”.

That, of course, was in the English translation of Kim’s speech by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Things get much more colourful in the Korean version of the speech.

According to North Korea-watchers, the Korean term used by Kim - “neulg-dali-michigwang-i” - literally translates as “old lunatic” or the even more colourful “old beast lunatic”.

Some Twitter users pointed out that while Trump may have won Round 1 by calling Kim “Rocket Man”, the North Korean had taken Round 2 with “dotard”.

First Published: Sep 22, 2017 16:57 IST