President Donald Trump launched his latest Twitter riposte to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un on Saturday — and it was his funniest, or his scariest, ever (depending on your political point of view).
Trump was responding to the North Korean regime’s first statement on his visit to Asia, which was as belligerent as ever. The North Korean foreign ministry said that his “current trip to our surrounding region is a warmonger’s visit for confrontation to rid the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] of its self-defensive nuclear deterrence.”
#NorthKorea‘s first official government response to @POTUS #Asia tour. “Warmonger visit”, “begged for nuclear war”, “reckless remarks by a dotard like #Trump“, “our possession of nuclear weapons righteous”. No hope of Trump’s call for denuclearisation. pic.twitter.com/WTsfCqBryo
— Mark Lowen (@marklowen) November 12, 2017
Reckless remarks by an old lunatic like Trump will never scare us or stop our advance. On the contrary, all this makes us more sure that our choice to promote economic construction at the same time as building up our nuclear force is all the more righteous, and it pushes us to speed up the effort to complete our nuclear force.
In response, Trump tweeted:
Why would Kim Jong-un 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
Notably, Trump did not use his usual nickname for Kim Jong-un, “Little Rocket Man.”
Trump’s critics were somewhat aghast. “Reeeealllllly hope when we all wake up tomorrow morning everything’s cool,” MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff tweeted.
Humorist Scott Adams, responding to Trump’s tweet via Periscope, saw a diplomatic opening in Trump’s insult.
“He means this to be a little bit humorous, even to North Korea,” Adams said.
“This is a calculation that could go wrong … but I think the calculation is that he’s trying to give Kim Jong-un a way to joke back. If he jokes back, they’re gonna meet.”
Before leaving Vietnam, Trump addressed questions about North Korea at a press conference, saying: “”We want progress, not provocation…We want stability not chaos. We want peace, not war.”
Asked about his tweet, and wanting to be friends with with Kim Jong-un, he said: “Strange things happen in life.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.