'Madman' Kim Jong-un calls Donald Trumps 'dotard' as North Korea hints at Hydrogen bomb
Pyongyang : Responding directly for the first time to US President Donald Trumps threat at the UN to destroy nuclear-armed North Korea, its leader Kim Jong-un called Trump a "mentally deranged US dotard" while the latter responded by terming the regime leader a "madman" who would be "tested like never before".
The war of words between Kim and Trump escalated on Friday as the regime's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho hinted that North Korea may explode a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean in response to the US President's threat.
In a rare statement, Kim said that Trump would "pay dearly" for his threat, a state media report said. The leader said he "will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history", the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
"I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue. Trump insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history," Kim said.
"I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the US pay dearly for his speech," which he called "unprecedented rude nonsense".
"Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say," Kim added. "I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire."
On the fringes of the UN General Assembly in New York, Kim's Foreign Minister told reporters that Pyongyang could launch a nuclear missile test in response. "This could probably mean the strongest hydrogen bomb test over the Pacific Ocean. Regarding which measures to take, I don't really know since it is what Kim Jong Un does," said Ri.
In response, Trump said on Twitter: "Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind killing or starving his people, will be tested like never before!"
Kim's use of the term "dotard", had set the internet alight. While not widely used today, the insult is centuries old, appearing in medieval literature from the ninth century.
Searches for the term spiked in the wake of Kim's address, according to dictionary Merriam-Webster, which defines the term as referring to "a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise".
Referring to Trump's Tuesday speech at the UN General Assembly, Kim said: "A frightened dog barks louder. He is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician."
In his speech, Trump called the North Korean regime a "band of criminals" and Kim a "Rocket Man" on "a suicide mission". Japan's Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said the country must ready itself for the sudden escalation in tensions and be prepared for a missile launch.
China responded to the war of words, warning that the situation was "complicated and sensitive".
"All relevant parties should exercise restraint instead of provoking each other," said Foreign Minister spokesman Lu Kang.
Russia also urged restraint. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was "deeply concerned by an escalation of tensions".