The North Korean leader makes his first direct address to the world.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in an extraordinary and direct rebuke, called U.S. President Donald Trump “deranged” and said he will “pay dearly” for his threats, a possible indication of more powerful weapons tests on the horizon.Mr. Kim said Mr. Trump is “unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country.” He also described the U.S. president as “a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire.”
The dispatch was unusual in that it was written in the first person, albeit filtered through the North’s state media, which is part of propaganda efforts meant to glorify Mr. Kim. South Korean media called it the first such direct address to the world by Mr. Kim.Some analysts saw a clear announcement that North Korea would ramp up its already brisk pace of weapons testing, which has included missiles meant to target U.S. forces throughout Asia and the U.S. mainland.
“I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK,” said the statement carried by North’s official Korean Central News Agency on Friday morning.DPRK is the abbreviation of the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The statement responded to Mr. Trump’s combative speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday where he mocked Mr. Kim as a “Rocket Man” on a “suicide mission,” and said that if “forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”
Mr. Kim characterised Mr. Trump’s speech to the world body as “mentally deranged behaviour.”Mr. Kim said he is “thinking hard” about his response and that Mr. Trump “will face results beyond his expectation.” In recent months, the North has launched a pair of still-developmental ICBMs it said were capable of striking the continental United States and a pair of intermediate-range missiles that soared over Japanese territory. Earlier this month, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date drawing stiffer U.N. sanctions.