The Slatest

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un Responds to Trump, Calling Him a “Mentally Deranged Dotard”

Not a dotard.


On Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un responded to President Trump’s United Nations address in the pair’s escalating nuclear rhetoric, saying in a statement that Trump would “pay dearly” for his speech where the president referred to Kim as “Rocket Man” and threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire,” Kim continued in a statement released by the official Korean Central News Agency.

Whoa, whoa, whoa—let’s pause for a moment before President Trump squeezes a tweet in. First, fair play, that was kind of a sick burn there. Didn’t think you had that in you. I was just thinking it was time someone hauled dotard back into the vernacular.

I would feel a bit better about the two nations’ ability to communicate if one of the leaders wasn’t using Google translate to use words the other clearly doesn’t know. Next time, just write that bad boy in Korean. We’ve got folks who can translate it. They’ll send it to the rest of us. The North Koreans, however, traditionally issue these statements in English, which, over the years, the quirky corpus has turned into a genre of the language all its own. (For more about why North Korea’s statements sound as wacky, but strangely familiar as they do, check out Daniel Engber’s Slate explainer here.)

For extra authenticity, the Korean state news agency published the statement along with a photo of Kim Jong-un sitting at a desk holding some papers. Nice touch.

Just sayin’.

The statement—discarding the specter of nuclear war (obvs)—is pretty much nonsensical. Here’s the opening line: “The speech made by the U.S. president in his maiden address on the UN arena in the prevailing serious circumstances, in which the situation on the Korean peninsula has been rendered tense as never before and is inching closer to a touch-and-go state, is arousing worldwide concern.” Who’s a maiden?

There is something strangely poetic about the North Korean English turn of phrase.

Shaping the general idea of what he would say, I expected he would make stereo-typed, prepared remarks a little different from what he used to utter in his office on the spur of the moment as he had to speak on the world’s biggest official diplomatic stage.

Go on.

But, far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors.

Yes, yes he did “make unprecedented rude nonsense.” I had not thought to describe it like that before you said it right there.

A frightened dog barks louder.

Than? A normal, chill dog?

I’d like to advise Trump to exercise prudence in selecting words and to be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world.

Good note.

The mentally deranged behavior of the U.S. president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to “totally destroy” a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.

Hmm … I thought I knew where you were going with this and what you were talking about halfway through.

His remarks remind me of such words as “political layman” and “political heretic” which were in vogue in reference to Trump during his presidential election campaign.

The good old days.

After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.

I mean, the syntax is a bit icky, but not too far off base as far as geopolitical analysis goes.

His remarks which described the U.S. option through straightforward expression of his will have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last … Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say.

And the finale:

I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue.

Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation.

I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.

Good imagery. If we weren’t talking about nuclear war this would be “ha ha” funny not “terrifying” funny.