‘Old’ Trump hits back

‘Friend­ship’ be­tween him and North Korea’s Kim ‘would be very nice’

The Witness - - NEWS -

HANOI — U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said in a tweet that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had in­sulted him by call­ing him “old” and said he would never call Kim “short and fat”.

Trump made the com­ment yes­ter­day af­ter at­tend­ing the Asia­Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (Apec) sum­mit in Viet­nam. In a se­ries of tweets he also said Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping was “up­ping sanc­tions” on North Korea in re­sponse to its nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grammes and that Xi wanted Py­ongyang to “de­nu­cle­arise”.

Dur­ing Trump’s visit to Bei­jing last week Xi re­it­er­ated that China would strive for the de­nu­cle­ari­sa­tion of the Korean penin­sula, but of­fered no hint it would change tack on North Korea, with which it fought side by side in the 1950 to 53 Korean war against U.S.­led forces.

One of Trump’s tweets read: “Why would Kim Jong­un 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!” Speak­ing later in Viet­nam’s cap­i­tal, Hanoi, Trump said “it would be very, very nice” if he and Kim be­came friends.

“That might be a strange thing to hap­pen but it’s a pos­si­bil­ity,” he said.

Trump has traded in­sults and threats with Kim in the past amid es­ca­lat­ing ten­sion over Py­ongyang’s nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grams as North Korea races to­ward its goal of de­vel­op­ing a nu­clear­tipped mis­sile ca­pa­ble of reach­ing the United States — some­thing Trump has vowed to pre­vent.

North Korea con­ducted its sixth and most pow­er­ful nu­clear bomb test on Septem­ber 3, prompt­ing an­other round of UN sanc­tions.

In Septem­ber Kim de­scribed Trump as a “men­tally de­ranged U.S. dotard” whom he would tame with fire. His com­ments came af­ter Trump threaten­ ed in his maiden United Na­tions ad­dress to “to­tally de­stroy” the coun­try of 26 mil­lion peo­ple if the U.S. were threat­ened. Af­ter North Korea’s For­eign Min­is­ter Ri Yong Ho ad­dressed the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly in Septem­ber Trump tweeted: “Just heard For­ eign Min­is­ter of North Korea speak at UN. If he echoes thoughts of Lit­tle Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”

North Korea has con­ducted dozens of bal­lis­tic mis­sile tests in de­fi­ance of UN. sanc­tions. It has vowed to never give up its weapons pro­grams, say­ing they are nec­es­sary to counter hos­til­ity from the United States and its al­lies.

The U.S. said all op­tions, in­clud­ing mil­i­tary, are on the ta­ble, although its pref­er­ence is for a diplo­matic so­lu­tion.

— Reuters.

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