Not-so-instant message: N. Korea calls Trump’s New Year ‘bigger button’ jibe ‘spasm of a lunatic’

The response came in the latest edition of Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea’s ruling party. In the controversial tweet, Trump mocked North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un for saying in his New Year address to the nation that he had a nuclear button on his desk and could order a strike against America if the country is threatened. The American president said “his button” was “a much bigger and more powerful one” that actually worked.

North Korea, which for decades used a unique style of communication involving flamboyant threats and insults against its enemies, seems to have found a more-than-willing counterpart in the Oval Office. Trump and Kim exchanged personal insults, as well as promises of death and destruction, as Pyongyang and Washington remain deadlocked over the North’s latest advances in rocket and nuclear technology, which have given new credibility to the country’s race for a nuclear deterrent against America.

Unlike Trump, Kim has no Twitter page, so the exchanges come at a slow pace, with insults traded days – or, as in this case, even weeks apart. Nevertheless, Kim at one point managed to amuse English-speakers by rediscovering the little-used word “dotard” to berate Trumps’ mental capacity. The US president invented the nickname “little rocket man” for the North Korean leader and shamed him as “short and fat” in one of his tweets.

READ MORE: US, Canada host world summit on N. Korea… but Russia & China will only be briefed on results

Trump’s brand of rhetoric is not solely reserved for Kim Jong-un, nor is it confined to his Twitter feed. One of his latest controversial remarks targeted Haiti, Honduras and African nations, which he reportedly dismissed as a “sh**hole countries” while arguing against admitting immigrants from those nations into America. The US president has denied making the remarks.

The denial didn’t stop a flurry of outraged responses both domestically and from foreign commentators, who accused Trump of being racist and unsuitable for office.

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