When President Trump gave Kim Jong-un the nickname of ‘Rocket Man,’ he says he thought the North Korean leader would take it as a compliment.
President Trump made that revelation Tuesday night at a dinner for Republican donors in Manhattan, attendees told the Washington Post.
The president first used the nickname in his address to the United Nations last week, in which he condemned North Korea’s ramped up race to make a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the mainland U.S.
President Trump (left) said at a fundraiser Tuesday night that he didn’t think his nickname for Kim Jong-un (right) – ‘Rocket Man’ – would be taken as an insult
He said at the $35,000-a-plate dinner on Tuesday that he didn’t think that the nickname would be taken as an insult.
But when Kim Jong-un responded by calling him a ‘dotard,’ he decided to amend the nickname.
‘So I said, all right, so now I’ll call him Little Rocket man,’ Trump said.
During the dinner, which Trump attended with his two eldest sons, the president said that he thinks the North Korea issue should have been solved years ago, but that he was determined to take care of it himself nonetheless.
He also touted his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jingping, claiming it was their chumminess that led the Chinese leader to curtail banking relationships with North Korea.
Meanwhile, it was announced on Friday that Trump will soon be going on a tour of the Asia, even as tensions with North Korea escalate.
Trump will travel to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines from November 3-14, a trip that will also include a stop in Hawaii.
It will be Trump’s first visit to the region as president.
The White House said Trump’s visit would ‘strengthen the international resolve to confront the North Korean threat and ensure the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.’
Trump is also expected to discuss trade and economic ties to the region and will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in the Philippines.
Even as Washington and Beijing grapple with that security crisis in North Korea, Trump has pressed China for more balanced trade with America.
Trump has been openly critical of China’s large trade surpluses with the United States and last month ordered an investigation into whether Beijing improperly pressures companies to hand over their technology in exchange for market access.
His trip to China will come weeks after Chinese leader Xi is expected to receive a second five-year term as the leader of China’s communist party. Trump has sought to forge a personal relationship with Xi, hosting the Chinese president at his Mar-a-Lago resort in April.
In a prelude to Trump’s trip to China, Trump met Thursday with Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, who was attending the inaugural dialogue on people-to-people ties in Washington.