Nuclear-armed North Korea unleashed a raft of insults and threats against the U.S. and its leader on Tuesday, calling Donald Trump “dolt-like” and comparing recent reports of a possible “bloody nose” limited strike against Pyongyang to the run-up to the Iraq War.
Trump has in recent days highlighted North Korea’s human rights abuses on the global stage — inviting defectors to the White House — while also targeting the North’s missile and nuclear programs. He also sent Vice President Mike Pence, who arrived in Japan late Tuesday, to the region for the Olympics in South Korea to ensure that Pyongyang does not “hijack” the games.
The Rodong Sinmun, the North’s ruling party newspaper, blasted Trump over what it said was an “intolerable politically motivated provocation and tyrannical blackmail” against the country amid the White House’s focus on human rights and its stance that military action to rein in Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs remains an option.
“There is a foolish attempt to make pretence for provocation and pave the road for invasion ahead of conducting the military adventure ‘bloody nose strategy’ in the invectives of Trump recalling Bush’s reckless remarks of ‘axis of evil,’ ” it added.
The “axis of evil” was a phrase used by former President George W. Bush in his 2002 State of the Union address to describe three governments that his administration had accused of state-sponsored terrorism and of seeking weapons of mass destruction. Iraq, Iran and North Korea were portrayed in the speech as building nuclear weapons, a claim Bush later used to partly justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq the following year.
“Dolt-like Trump,” the commentary went on, “should know that his backbone would be broken, to say nothing of a ‘bloody nose,’ and the empire of America would go to hell and the short history of the U.S. would end forever, the moment he destroys even a single blade of grass on this land.”
The U.S. and the world must “urgently detain Trump … in the isolated hospital of psychopaths,” it said.
The commentary also served up a personal insult of the U.S. president, who grappled with a number of reported scandals during his campaign and after his election.
“No matter how desperately Trump may try to defame the dignified and just system in the DPRK with the worst invectives, he cannot deodorize the nasty smell from his dirty body woven with frauds, sexual abuses and all other crimes nor keep the U.S. from rushing to the final destruction,” the commentary said.
It was unclear what the commentary was referring to specifically, but Trump has recently faced allegations that he paid hush money to hide an affair with an adult film star.
Trump’s approach to dealing with North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong Un, has veered from one extreme to another.
He has said he was open to sitting down to talk with Kim over a meal of hamburgers only to later trade insults with the North Korean dictator, labeling him with the moniker “Rocket Man.” Kim, for his part, has gone round for round with the U.S. president, who he has called “deranged” and a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”