Trump calls North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un a 'mad man'

Sunday, 24 Sep, 2017

North Korea has threatened to detonate the "strongest" hydrogen bomb in the Pacific, after Kim Jong Un warned that Donald Trump would "pay dearly" for his threat this week to "totally destroy" North Korea if America was forced to defend itself and its allies.

North Korea has suggested that it could test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific, the latest in an escalating tit-for-tat between leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump.

In a personal statement which was released by the state news agency KCNA, Jong-un said Trump's speech gives him more reasons to develop more nuclear weapons for his country.

The U.S. president vowed to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea, used the nickname "Rocket Man" for Kim, and at the United Nations on Tuesday threatened to "totally destroy" the North if provoked.

Trump this week threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if it provokes the US or allies, and ordered new sanctions on individuals, companies and banks doing business with Pyongyang.

When North Korea's foreign minister takes the podium Friday at the U.N. General Assembly, it will mark a relatively rare public appearance of a representative from Kim Jong Un's regime.

Kim says Trump's threats only emphasize that North Korea has been justified in its pursuit of nuclear missiles.

North Korea could respond to Donald Trump's threats of military action by testing a powerful nuclear weapon in the Pacific Ocean, the country's foreign minister has said, hours after the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, said the United States president would "pay dearly" for threatening to destroy the regime.

Kim stated that he will soon tame Trump with fire. So far North Korea has been separately testing nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles built to deliver them, rather than testing them together.

Mr. Trump was apparently responding to the North Korean leader's reaction to the president's address to the United Nations.

He characterized Trump's speech to the world body on Tuesday as "mentally deranged behavior".

MCEVERS: Today President Trump struck back with a tweet.

In the past, KCNA has occasionally not published English versions of crude insults directed at USA leaders or officials in an apparent effort to differentiate its statements for domestic audiences and outsiders.

"No one has done an above-ground test in decades", he said.

For the moment though, tiny, impoverished North Korea has pulled off an global public relations coup by drawing the world's most powerful man into a direct war of words with its leader. Any military intervention created to eliminate the North's nuclear and missile arsenal would nearly surely entail dire risks for USA allies in the region, particularly South Korea, lying in range of the North's vast stockpiles of weaponry.

"There's a certain amount of bluster that's taken for granted when you're dealing with North Korea", the official told Reuters.