It’s not a mutual admiration society between Donald Trump and one of his favorite autocrats, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Trump has called Kim “a great leader” with whom he has a “very, very good relationship.” Kim disagrees, having his government release a statement calling Trump a “heedless and erratic old man” on Monday, after Trump tweeted on Sunday that Kim is “too smart” to “void his special relationship” with Trump.
One of Kim’s senior officials, former nuclear negotiator Kim Yong Chol, said that Trump “is such a heedless and erratic old man, the time when we cannot but call him a ‘dotard’ again may come. […] Trump has too many things that he does not know about (North Korea). We have nothing more to lose. Though the U.S. may take away anything more from us, it can never remove the strong sense of self-respect, might and resentment against the U.S. from us.”
Former Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong added that Trump’s comments are a “corroboration that he feels fear” about North Korea’s potential power and warned that he should stop using “abusive language” that could offend Kim. “Trump might be in great jitters but he had better accept the status quo that as he sowed, so he should reap, and think twice if he does not want to see bigger catastrophic consequences.”
Who could have predicted Kim would use Trump to gain stature by being recognized and courted by the world’s greatest superpower, and then turn on him?