‘Old’ Trump hits back
‘Friendship’ between him and North Korea’s Kim ‘would be very nice’
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.