North Korea called President Trump a “thoughtless and sneaky old man” on Monday, responding to a pair of tweets the U.S. president tweeted over the weekend.
In the pair of tweets, President Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was “too smart” and said he had “far too much to lose” if he continues to act in a hostile manner especially regarding interference in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.
The president’s tweets come as Kim Jong-Un has resumed his occasional missile launches.
“He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore. He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November,” Trump added.
The president also reiterated his belief that North Korea stands to benefit by agreeing to a peace process with the U.S. and the world.
“North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, has tremendous economic potential, but it must denuclearize as promised. NATO, China, Russia, Japan, and the entire world is unified on this issue!” Trump said.
….with the U.S. Presidential Election in November. North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, has tremendous economic potential, but it must denuclearize as promised. NATO, China, Russia, Japan, and the entire world is unified on this issue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2019
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Senior North Korean official and former nuclear negotiator Kim Yong Chol responded to the president’s comments by saying his country has “nothing more to lose,” due to sanctions applied by the U.S. and others.
From the Associated Press:
Kim Yong Chol said Trump’s tweets clearly show that he is an irritated old man “bereft of patience.”
“As (Trump) is such a heedless and erratic old man, the time when we cannot but call him a ‘dotard’ again may come,” Kim Yong Chol said.
“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.”
Kim Yong Chol traveled to Washington and met with the U.S. president twice last year while setting up the summits with Kim Jong Un.
North Korea insulted President Trump again on Monday. https://t.co/ddxWOKEDx1
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) December 9, 2019
Former Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong echoed these sentiments in a statement of his own.
“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,” he said.
“Our final judgment and decision which will soon be made at the end of this year are to be done by the chairman of the State Affairs Commission, and he has neither clarified any stand yet nor made any ironic and irritating expressions toward the other party as done by someone,” Ri added per the report.
North Korea has again insulted President Trump, calling him a “heedless and erratic old man” after he tweeted that Kim Jong Un wouldn’t want to abandon their special relationship (updates translation from N. Korea's English translation of its statement.) https://t.co/ANpmSt6Rfy
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 9, 2019
Reuters reports peace negotiations have stalled as U.S. officials are seeking a “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization” of North Korea. Before North Korea will agree to that, they want sanctions relief and for the U.S. to stop joint military operations with South Korea. The U.S. has refused without first seeing that North Korea is serious about the deal by initiating denuclearization.
From the report:
North Korea, in contrast, has sought a “systematic guarantee” for the lifting of sanctions, singling out five U.N. resolutions at the Hanoi summit, the source said.
The five U.N. resolutions, adopted in 2016 and 2017, chiefly limited North Korea’s mineral exports and banned financial transactions, which were expected to prevent Pyongyang from earning at least $1 billion a year.
“But the Americans can’t take the risk of easing sanctions first, having already given a lot of gifts to Kim without substantial progress on denuclearization, including summits,” the source said.