Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - Page 6 News List

N Korea slams ‘incurably mentally deranged’ Trump

AFP, SEOUL

North Korea slammed US President Donald Trump as “incurably mentally deranged” in a personal attack ahead of his first visit to Asia, as the South Korean president insisted Washington could not take military action on the Korean Peninsula without his agreement.

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have traded threats of war and personal insults against each other in recent months, heightening worries about another conflict on the peninsula where the 1950 to 1953 Korean War left millions dead.

The US leader has warned of “fire and fury,” telling the UN General Assembly that Washington would “totally destroy North Korea” if it had to defend itself or its allies.

Washington and Seoul have been in a security alliance for decades, and the US has 28,500 troops stationed in the South to defend it from the North.

Trump dubbed Kim “Rocket Man” in the same speech and days later Kim responded with a personal statement calling him a “dotard.”

The North’s state-run KCNA news agency lashed out at “bellicose and irresponsible rhetoric” by the “master of invective” ahead of Trumps visit to the region this week.

Washington has deployed key military assets including jet fighters and aircraft carriers near the peninsula following the North’s sixth nuclear test in September, which also saw the UN impose an eighth set of sanctions on the isolated country.

Trump, KCNA said late on Tuesday, “disclosed his true nature as a nuclear war maniac before the world and was diagnosed as ‘incurably mentally deranged.’”

The North has a long history of colourfl personal attacks against US leaders. It has called former US president Barack Obama a “monkey” and George W. Bush a “half-baked man.”

It has railed against former South Korean president Park Geun-hye as a “witch” and a “crafty prostitute” who had Obama as her “pimp.”

Despite the fire-breathing rhetoric, South Korean President Moon Jae-in yesterday said his country would not develop or possess nuclear weapons, unlike its neighbor. South Korean media and opposition politicians have called for the return of US tactical nuclear weapons, which were withdrawn from the peninsula in the 1990s.

Some have suggested that if Washington does not agree — US Secretary of Defense James Mattis expressed doubts about the prospective move at the weekend — Seoul should develop a nuclear capability of its own, to ensure a so-called “balance of terror” on the peninsula.

In his address to the National Assembly, Moon, who has advocated engagement to bring the North to the negotiating table, insisted: “There should be no military action on the peninsula without our prior consent.”

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