North Korea’s state-run media has labelled Donald Trump’s tweet about having a bigger nuclear button than leader Kim Jong Un’s the “spasm of a lunatic”.
Rodong Sinmun, the ruling party newspaper, criticised the US President after he tweeted: “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
A summary of the commentary by North Korea’s official news agency described the tweet as “the spasm of a lunatic”.
“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,” the article said, using the acronym for North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“He is making [a] bluff only to be diagnosed as a psychopath.”
The tone of the commentary is not uncommon for the North Korean media. But Mr Trump’s willingness to respond in kind – he has repeatedly called Mr Kim “little rocket man” – is rare for an American leader.
Mr Trump has more recently suggested he might be willing to meet with Mr Kim, and reportedly told the Wall Street Journal the two “probably have a very good relationship”.
The US President’s controversial “nuclear button” tweet was in response to Kim’s New Year’s Day warning that North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is a real threat and that he has a nuclear launch button on his desk at all times.
Mr Kim said the entire US was within range of North Korean nuclear weapons, adding: “This is reality, not a threat.”
Rodong Sinmun also recently ran a story about the book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which casts the president as a leader who does not understand the weight of his office and whose competence is questioned by aides. Mr Trump and other White House officials have blasted it as inaccurate.
Last summer, Mr Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” in an exchange of taunts with the North, which claimed it was examining plans to launch missiles towards the American territory of Guam.
The North Korean article said the sales of the exposé reflect “rapidly surging anti-Trump sentiments in the international community.”
“The anti-Trump book is sweeping all over the world so Trump is being massively humiliated worldwide.”
The book’s popularity “foretells Trump’s political demise,” it concluded.
North Korea has come under increased international pressure over the past year over its nuclear weapons programme.
It claims to have a fully deployable nuclear weapon, although there is scepticism about its true ability to carry out such an attack.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies