Washington, Sept 22 (AFP): US President Donald Trump on Friday warned ‘madman’ North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un that he would be ‘tested,’ the latest in an exchange of insults between the two. “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 tweeted.
On the other hand on Friday morning Kim blasted Trump as a “mentally deranged US dotard” who will “pay dearly” for threatening to destroy North Korea. Trump “insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history”, Kim said, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. He blasted Trump’s maiden speech to the UN General Assembly as “unprecedented rude nonsense”.
Trump branded Kim “Rocket Man” and threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” in his UN speech. Trump had earlier threatened Pyongyang with “fire and fury.” Trump has traded tough rhetoric with Pyongyang as it pushed an increasingly brazen weapons programme in recent months, with missile launches and its sixth and largest nuclear test.
Meanwhile, Russia is ‘deeply concerned’ by the escalation of tensions over North Korea, the Kremlin said on Friday, after US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un exchanged stinging barbs. “Moscow is deeply concerned by an escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula related to an exchange of rather rude statements replete with threats,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “Moscow still calls on all interested parties to display restraint so as not to provoke this escalation even further,” Peskov said, reiterating Russia’s position that the problem surrounding the North’s nuclear programme should be settled through negotiations only.
After initiating the war of insults, since Thursday Washington ramped up sanctions aimed at curtailing North Korea’s nuclear weapons drive. In a rare personal attack published hours after Washington announced the tougher sanctions, Kim’s foreign minister Ri Yong-ho told reporters Pyongyang might now consider detonating a hydrogen bomb outside its territory.
Washington has refused to negotiate with Pyongyang, despite appeals to do so from China and Russia, who are both uneasy over Trump’s bellicose tone.