President Donald Trump accepting an offer to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is a stunning turn of events after a year of heated verbal warfare that included crude insults and mutual threats of nuclear attacks.
While the move to hold a summit appears to be an effort to ease decades of animosity between the US and North Korea, it comes after months of the two leaders trading insults and Trump threatening to ‘totally destroy’ the country.
From Trump calling Kim a ‘rocket man’ and ‘short and fat’ to the US President being labeled ‘mentally deranged’ there has been no shortage of nasty insults between the leaders.
So ahead of the summit – for which a time and place is yet to be determined – here is a look at some of the more notable war of words between Trump and Kim so far.
Short and fat:
Back in November last year, Trump hurled an insult at Kim during a trip to Vietnam calling him ‘short and fat’.
‘Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!’ he tweeted.
He was retaliating after North Korean media had labeled Trump as an ‘old lunatic’.
During his address to the UN General Assembly back in September, Trump said the US would ‘totally destroy North Korea’ if forced to defend itself or its allies.
He also referred to Kim as ‘Rocket Man’ during his speech.
‘The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,’ Trump said.
‘Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.’
Kim hit back to the Rocket Man comments accusing Trump of ‘mentally deranged behavior.’
He said he would ‘surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire’.
Trump responded on Twitter the following morning: ‘Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!’
Kim said that he has a nuclear button on his desk in his New Year’s address this year.
In the same speech, he also called for improved relations with South Korea and suggested sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Trump quickly responded saying that he has a bigger and more powerful nuclear button.
‘North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!’ he tweeted.
Fire and fury:
Ever since Trump was elected, the two leaders have traded barbs about threats of potential nuclear attacks.
After North Korea announced they had tested a series of missiles, Trump said the country had best not make more threats or ‘they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.’
North Korea hours later announces a plan to launch a salvo of missiles toward the US territory of Guam, a major military hub in the Pacific.
Other threats of nuclear attacks:
Kim said in his New Year’s address in 2017 that preparations for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile had ‘reached the final stage.’
A day later Trump, who was then president-elect, tweeted: ‘North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the US It won’t happen!’