Donald Trump

Can they be friends? ‘Lunatic’ Donald Trump tweets about ‘short and fat’ Kim after North Korea hurls insult

Trump says North Korea’s leader insulted him by calling him an ‘old lunatic’

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 November, 2017, 9:25am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 November, 2017, 1:17pm

US President Donald Trump said it was “certainly a possibility” that he could become friends with Kim Jong-un, hours after insulting the North Korean leader on Twitter.

“Certainly, it is something that could happen,” Trump said Sunday in Hanoi, Vietnam, when asked about the possibility of becoming friends with Kim.

“I don’t know that it will, but it would be very, very nice if it did.”

In a response to North Korea calling Trump’s speech in South Korea “reckless remarks by an old lunatic,” Trump earlier tweeted: “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’”

Trump goes on to say sarcastically: “Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!”

Trump has been working to rally global pressure against North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme on a trip to Asia.

That includes a stern speech delivered in South Korea’s National Assembly on Tuesday, in which he said: “Do not underestimate us. And do not try us. ... The weapons you’re acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger. Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face.”

On Saturday, Kim’s government responded by accusing Trump of trying to demonise North Korea, keep it apart from the international community and undermine its government.

“Reckless remarks by an old lunatic like Trump will never scare us or stop our advance,” the North’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“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.”

North Korea is not known to have tested any of its missiles or nuclear devices since September 15, a relative lull after a brisk series of tests earlier this year.

In another tweet Sunday, Trump said Chinese leader Xi Jinping had agreed to toughen sanctions against North Korea, whose impoverished economy is hugely reliant on trade with China.

“President Xi of China has stated that he is upping the sanctions against (North Korea). Said he wants them to denuclearise. Progress is being made,” he wrote.

The US administration thinks China’s economic leverage over North Korea is the key to strong-arming Pyongyang into halting its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.

China has made no sanctions announcement in recent days, and it was unclear if Trump was referring to statements Xi may have made during their summit in Beijing on Thursday, or when they met at Apec.

Trump also bashed the “haters and fools” he said were questioning his efforts to improve relations with Russia.

Trump, in the final days of a lengthy Asia trip, shared his thoughts in a series of tweets Sunday in Hanoi, Vietnam.

He accused critics of “playing politics” and hurting the country.

The day before, Trump had told reporters that Russia President Vladimir Putin has again denied meddling in the 2016 election.

Trump did not make clear whether he believed Putin but did make clear that he did not want to revisit the issue.

Trump has suggested that the ongoing probe into contacts between his campaign and the Russians was hurting the US relationship with Moscow and could hinder efforts to solve crises like Syria and North Korea.

Agence France-Presse, Associated Press