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‘Rocket man’ versus ‘deranged dotard’: The insults traded by Trump, Kim Jong Un

US President Donald Trump has agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at his invitation, at a time and place to be determined at a later date, the White House said on Thursday.

world Updated: Mar 09, 2018 18:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Kim Jong Un,Donald Trump,Kim Jong Un Trump meeting
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during the 5th Conference of the Workers' Party of Korea Cell Chairpersons and a file picture showing US President Donald Trump in Washington, DC.(AFP File Photo)

Before the surprise announcement that they will meet by May, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were more in the news for the barbs and insults they traded and the deprecating remarks they made about each other’s countries.

Here are some of the insults they’ve traded:

1) More than two years before his victory in the US polls, Trump said in a tweet May 2014 that North Korea was the “last place on earth” he wanted to visit. This was after basketball star Dennis Rodman visited the country and met Kim.

“Crazy Dennis Rodman is saying I wanted to go to North Korea with him. Never discussed, no interest, last place on Earth I want to go to,” Trump tweeted.

2) During a Republican presidential debate in September 2015, Trump described Kim as a “maniac” with nuclear weapons and said that “somebody better start thinking about North Korea and perhaps a couple of other places. But certainly North Korea.”

3) In February 2016, Trump said during a TV appearance that Kim was a “bad dude” and “not somebody to be underestimated”. He added, “I would get China to make that guy disappear in one form or another very quickly.”

4) In an interview with Bloomberg in May 2017, Trump took a different approach and said he would be honoured to meet Kim. “If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honoured to do it…If it’s under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that,” he said.

5) After the test of an intercontinental ballistic missile on the US Independence Day on July 4, 2017, Kim said: “American b***ards would be not very happy with this gift sent on the July 4 anniversary.”

6) After the North Korean missile test in July 2017, Trump tweeted, “North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?”

7) As North Korea continued its missile tests, Trump warned of a strong response from the US in August 2017. “North Korea best not make any more threats to the US. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” he said.

8) Trump delivered the strongest insult against Kim while speaking at the UN General Assembly in September 2017. That was when he called him the “rocket man” in public. “The US 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,” he said.

9) Kim responded three days later in September 2017 by calling Trump a “mentally deranged dotard”. In a statement, he said: “He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician…I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire.”

10) Within hours, Trump fired back in a tweet, again in September 2017: “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!”

11) The insults from Trump continued, with the President saying in a tweet in November 2017: “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!”

12) In his annual New Year’s day speech in January 2018, Kim said: “”The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, a nuclear button is always on my desk. This is reality, not a threat.

13) A day later, Trump responded in a tweet: “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

First Published: Mar 09, 2018 18:35 IST