Yesterday, North Korean despot and potential candidate for The Biggest Loser Kim Jong Un delivered an unprecedented personal attack on an American president. A lot has been written about it, mostly chuckling about all the funny names Kim came up with to describe Trump with a sort of wistfulness on the part the writers that they hadn’t thought of the same words earlier.
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) September 22, 2017
This is the text of the speech and the video of Kim reading it.
The speech made by the U.S. president in his maiden address on the UN arena in the prevailing serious circumstances, in which the situation on the Korean peninsula has been rendered tense as never before and is inching closer to a touch-and-go state, is arousing worldwide concern.
Shaping the general idea of what he would say, I expected he would make stereo-typed, prepared remarks a little different from what he used to utter in his office on the spur of the moment as he had to speak on the world’s biggest official diplomatic stage.
But, far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors.
A frightened dog barks louder.
I’d like to advise Trump to exercise prudence in selecting words and to be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world.
The mentally deranged behavior of the U.S. president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to “totally destroy” a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.
His remarks remind me of such words as “political layman” and “political heretic” which were in vogue in reference to Trump during his presidential election campaign.
After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.
His remarks which described the U.S. option through straightforward expression of his will have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.
Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history that he would destroy the DPRK, we will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.
Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say.
As a man representing the DPRK and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my state and people and on my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK.
This is not a rhetorical expression loved by Trump.
I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue.
Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation.
I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.
The English version of Kim Jong Un's fiery statement calls Trump "dotard." The Korean version says "늙다리미치광이" = lunatic old man pic.twitter.com/LNXWsJLtBB
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) September 21, 2017
All of that is fun and games but what does it mean. Keep in mind this is, AFAIK, the first time a North Korean leader has recorded a personal statement directed at a US president.
I can't think of another time when the North Korean leader has reacted so directly to a U.S. president, let alone with a photo like this pic.twitter.com/YWc8KPChuG
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) September 21, 2017
And these two observations:
This forecloses on prospect of talks. NK's best play: start a fight, keep it limited, conventional. Then "soil firms after the rain" 2/2
— The Un-Diplomatic Podcast (@UnDiplomaticPod) September 22, 2017
I've never seen 1st person. This is personal. KJU portraying himself as the adult. Shouldnt rule out use of nonWMD retaliation: cyber.
— Jung H. Pak, PhD (@junghpak1) September 22, 2017
A cyber attack is a possibility, but I think a cyber attack, an attack that may be defeated, is not going to have the visual and public relations impact that Kim needs. The most likely option is a limited, set piece military operation with a very limited objective designed to show the United States that Kim has the power to strike but probably not in a way that will draw US response. This is not outside the realm of possibilities. Take a look at this list of military skirmishes with North Korea. For instance, North Korea infiltrators slipped across the DMZ and planted landmines that killed and maimed several ROK soldiers. A NK submarine torpedoed a ROK destroyer. NK has carried out artillery strikes against targets in ROK. The North Korean and South Korean navies have engaged in two known engagments.
The most likely course of action is an attack on a South Korean military target. It could be by artillery, which seems to be the preferred method, or by infiltrators. It would be calculated to communicate to the South Koreans, the weak link in the anti-DPRK alliance, that the United States can’t protect them and give them a chance to crow about the inability of the US to stop or retaliate. If they do strike at the US, I’d look for a terror attack on a soft target frequented by US troops (think La Belle discothèque bombing in Berlin in 1986) or an attack on a vulnerable military asset (think USS Pueblo, the tree-cutting incident, or the 1969 shootdown of an EC-121 intelligence aircraft). Then the US will be confronted with retaliating in kind and possibly setting off a war or letting Kim get away with it.
History says Kim will elect for a forceful and spectacular act to break the current paradigm where sanctions are beginning to take hold and will only get worse. In the past, the more outrageous North Korea’s behavior the more likely the US was to remove pressure and make concessions. Kim has no reason to believe this will not work again.
As I posted a short while ago, North Korea is threatening to pop a nuke in the atmosphere. I don’t think this is what Kim is talking about but we’ll know more tomorrow when the North Korean foreign minister speaks at the UN
Caution: More angry words ahead. https://t.co/kdjjKg3gt5
— Jonathan Cheng (@JChengWSJ) September 22, 2017