North Korea 'sen­tences Trump to death' for in­sult­ing Kim Jong-un

The Guardian Australia - - Headlines / News -

North Korea’s state me­dia has crit­i­cised Don­ald Trump for in­sult­ing leader Kim Jong-Un, say­ing the US pres­i­dent de­served the death penalty and call­ing him a cow­ard for can­celling a visit to the in­ter-Korean bor­der.

An ed­i­to­rial in the rul­ing party news­pa­per Rodong Sin­mun fo­cused its anger on Trump’s visit to South Korea last week, dur­ing which he de­nounced the North’s “cruel dic­ta­tor­ship” in a speech to leg­is­la­tors in Seoul.

The visit was part of a marathon five-na­tion Asia tour by the US pres­i­dent aimed largely at gal­vanis­ing re­gional op­po­si­tion to the North’s nu­clear weapons am­bi­tions.

“The worst crime for which he can never be par­doned is that he dared [to] ma­lig­nantly hurt the dig­nity of the supreme lead­er­ship,” the ed­i­to­rial said.

“He should know that he is just a hideous crim­i­nal sen­tenced to death by the Korean peo­ple,” it added.

Since be­com­ing pres­i­dent, Trump has en­gaged in an es­ca­lat­ing war of words with Kim Jong-un, trad­ing per­sonal in­sults and threats of mil­i­tary strikes and rais­ing con­cerns about an out­break of hos­til­i­ties.

Towards the end of his Asia tour, he sent a tweet from Hanoi that took the ver­bal joust­ing to a new level, taunt­ing the North Korean leader over his height and weight.

“Why would Kim Jong-Un in­sult me by call­ing me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat’?” he tweeted.

The mem­bers of the rul­ing Kim dy­nasty – past and present – en­joy near god-like sta­tus in North Korea, which has demon­strated ex­treme sen­si­tiv­ity to any re­mark that might be seen as mock­ing or dis­re­spect­ful of the lead­er­ship.

The ed­i­to­rial also took a dig at Trump’s fail­ure to tour the de­mil­i­tarised zone (DMZ) di­vid­ing the two Koreas – a tra­di­tional stop-off for se­nior US of­fi­cials vis­it­ing the South.

Trump’s he­li­copter tak­ing him to the DMZ had turned back af­ter just five min­utes due to bad weather – an ex­pla­na­tion the news­pa­per dis­missed.

“It wasn’t the weather,” the ed­i­to­rial said: “He was just too scared to face the glar­ing eyes of our troops.”

He should know that he is just a hideous crim­i­nal sen­tenced to death by the Korean peo­ple

The war of words be­tween Don­ald Trump and North Kim Jong-un sees no sign of abat­ing Pho­to­graph: Kevin La­mar­que/Reuters

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