Kim Jong Un was 'displeased' by Trump's Rocket Man remarks

Kim Jong Un was 'displeased' by Trump's Rocket Man remarks

December 5, 2019

Kim Jong Un was ‘displeased’ by Trump’s Rocket Man remarks at Nato summit as he accuses US president of ‘bluffing’ with threats of military action against North Korea

  • North Korean leader ‘displeased’ by Donald Trump’s remarks at London summit
  • Trump had asserted Washington could use military force against North Korea
  • President also revived a nickname he gave to Kim throughout 2017, ‘Rocket Man’ 

Kim Jong Un was ‘displeased’ by Donald Trump’s comments at this week’s Nato summit, as officials accused the US president of ‘bluffing’ with threats of military action against North Korea. 

Pak Jong Chon, the chief of staff for the Korean People’s Army, said in a statement on Wednesday that Kim was unhappy with what he called ‘undesirable remarks’ made by Trump in London on Tuesday.

‘I heard that the US president made undesirable remarks about the DPRK on December 3 during the NATO summit in Britain’, he said. ‘The Supreme Commander of our armed forces was also displeased to hear it.’ 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un rides a horse as he visits battle sites at Mount Paektu in Ryanggang alongside his wife Ri Sol-ju, released by the KCNA on December 4

Trump had asserted that Washington could use military force against North Korea ‘if we have to’, though he added he still hoped for talks. He also urged Kim to follow through on what he described as a promise to denuclearize the North.

‘My relationship with Kim Jong Un is really good, but that doesn’t mean he won’t abide by the agreements … he said he will denuclearize,’ Trump said during the visit to London. ‘Now, we have the most powerful military we ever had, and we are by far the most powerful country in the world and hopefully we don’t have to use it. But if we do, we will use it.’ 

Trump also reintroduced a nickname he had previously given Kim when he traded crude insults and threats of destruction during a provocative run in North Korean nuclear and missile tests in 2017.

Kim ‘likes sending rockets up, doesn’t he?’ Trump said. ‘That’s why I call him Rocket Man.’ 

Donald Trump asserted at the Nato summit in London that Washington could use military force against North Korea ‘if we have to’, though he added he still hoped for talks

Kim and other top lieutenants walk along bridge in the snowy Mount Paektu area in pictures heavy with symbolism 

It appears the president’s Nato summit comments have bothered Kim and other high-ranking North Korean officials, CNN reported.

Michael Madden, an expert in North Korean leadership at the Stimson Foundation, said Pak does not often release public statements, and if he does, they largely focus on tensions between North and South Korea.

In the statement, Pak, who was photographed alongside Kim at the sacred Mount Paektu on Wednesday, said that although Trump ‘attached preconditions’ when discussing the use of military force against North Korea, the statement ‘greatly disappointed’ him.

He added: ‘But recently the US president said that he may use armed forces in clear reference to the DPRK, even though he attached preconditions. This greatly disappointed me.

Kim Jong Un rides a horse alongside his wife Ri Sol-ju as he visits battle sites at Mount Paektu 

‘Such elated spirit and bluffing may greatly get on the nerve of the dialogue partner even at the slightest slip.’ 

North Korea also said it would take ‘prompt corresponding actions’ if the US resorts to military force, as tensions continue to rise ahead of Pyongyang’s year-end deadline for stalled denuclearisation talks.

‘I clearly state here that if the US uses any armed forces against the DPRK, we will also take prompt corresponding actions at any level,’ Pak added, using the initials of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

‘The use of armed forces against the DPRK will be a horrible thing for the US’.

North Korea and the US are still technically at war and the state of truce could turn into an ‘all-out armed conflict any moment’ even by accident, Pak said. 

On Wednesday, for the second time in two months, Kim visited Mount Paektu on horseback, this time accompanied by senior military officers. This visit was aimed at instilling the mountain’s ‘indefatigable revolutionary spirit’ in the people, KCNA reported.

Leader Kim visits battle sites at snow-covered Mount Paektu alongside other top lieutenants

Kim has warned the United States it has until the end of the year to offer more concessions or North Korea will pursue an unspecified ‘new path’. Analysts believe that may include a resumption of intercontinental ballistic missile launches or nuclear tests.

Washington has urged North Korea to give up significant portions of its nuclear arsenal before punishing international sanctions are eased, while Pyongyang has accused the United States of ‘gangster-like’ demands for unilateral disarmament.

US officials have called for more talks, while playing down the deadline as ‘artificial’ and warning that it would be a ‘huge mistake and a missed opportunity’ for North Korea to take any provocative steps.

But North Korean state media have carried a steady chorus of statements in recent weeks, saying Washington should not ignore the warning and dismissing US calls for talks as a stalling tactic.

It was also announced on Wednesday the DPRK will hold a rare meeting of the ruling party’s leaders as speculation mounts about a possible policy change announcement.

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