North Korea’s state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun published an editorial on Tuesday sneering that President Donald Trump’s nuclear button tweet was the “spasm of a lunatic” and the “bark of a rabid dog.”
The Trump tweet in question was posted on January 2, which was a very long time ago by the fast-moving standards of Trump tweet controversies but, evidently, the North Koreans are still fuming about it:
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
Lost in the many U.S. media freak-outs over this tweet, but probably looming large in the strictly controlled imaginations of Rodong Sinmun editors, is that Trump was specifically mocking a comment from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Kim made the comment in his New Year’s Day address, the very same speech that included a small diplomatic opening to South Korea and led to the first direct talks between the two Korean nations in two years.
Kim thought it was appropriate to include the following comment in his conciliatory New Year’s address:
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. This year, we should focus on mass-producing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles for operational deployment. These weapons will be used only if our society is threatened.
“The spasm of Trump in the new year reflects the desperate mental state of a loser who failed to check the vigorous advance of the army and people of the DPRK. He is making a bluff only to be diagnosed as a psychopath,” Rodong Sinmun pontificated on Tuesday.
“Trump’s bluff is regarded by the DPRK as just a spasm of a lunatic frightened by the might of Juche Korea and a bark of a rabid dog,” wrote the North Korean paper, which is fond of referring to Trump as a “rabid dog.”
As the Associated Press points out, the North Korean dictatorship is not accustomed to mockery from American leaders, or anything close to its own belligerent rhetoric. Also, the Kim regime is obviously taking pains to appear defiant and unbowed as it deals with South Korea for the Winter Olympics, and possibly a broader improvement of relations between the two governments.
The AP notes Rodong Sinmun is very excited by the new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which draws its title from a comment President Trump made about North Korea. According to the North Koreans, the book’s sales are driven by “rapidly surging anti-Trump sentiments in the international community” and Trump is being “massively humiliated worldwide” by its success, hinting at his ultimate “political demise.”