It isn’t very often that one nation sentences the leader of another nation to death, in absentia, but North Korea is not most nations. Threatening North Korea with destruction and sending B-1B bombers to tickle their early warning radar systems was one thing, they could understand his wide-ranging condemnation of the North Korean political and economic system in his speech in South Korea, but on Saturday, President Trump crossed that bright line between annoyance to capital crime:
Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
The official North Korean newspaper broke the news this way (by the way, I swear I did not plagiarize this from anti=Trump media sources in the US, though I would completely understand the mistaken accusation):
The worst crime for which he can never be pardoned is that he dared malignantly hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK.
Trump, who is no more than an old slave of money, dared point an accusing finger at the sun. He should know that he is just a hideous criminal sentenced to death by the Korean people.
He will be forced to pay dearly for his blasphemy any moment.
The second on the list of his hideous crimes is that he malignantly hurt the dignified DPRK and Korean-style socialist system.
The third of his thrice-cursed crimes is that he spouted a load of rubbish to paint a black picture of the happy life of the great Korean people.
The one who violated the dignity of the people and insulted them should never expect their pardon.
The Korean people will regard the face of Trump as a symbol of wolf-like U.S. imperialism and as a target of merciless retaliation and send him to the hell he likes so much to tout.
The fourth is that he twisted the history of justice and cried out for stifling the DPRK by force of violence.
Rabid dog’s barking can never frighten the Korean people.
There are a couple of key components here that need to be kept in mind. First, the North Koreans take Donald Trump’s tweets very seriously. Letting Trump know that they take his tweets seriously is definitely not a good strategy when dealing with Trump. Expect more in the near future especially as the US will, according to several reports, restore North Korea to the list of state sponsors of terrorism before the end of the month. The second part is that the crystal meth that a lot of “experts” on North Korea are smoking that lets them declare that we will reach some kind of a backchannel agreement with North Korea is simply bullsh**. Trump has climbed too far out on the “de-nuclearization” limb to be able to accept some kind of blue-smoke-and-mirrors arrangement that freezes North Korean nukes and missiles. Kim is too far out on the we-will-not-negotiate-nukes-or-missiles limb to be able to survive a climb down. (One has to wonder how much this editorial is motivated by Kim knowing that a lot of the ruling clique is secretly reading Trump’s tweets and laughing–very quietly–at the insults he’s dumping on Kim.) This leaves us at a point where either North Korea pulls its punches on tests of nukes and missiles…or we have a war when he demonstrates beyond doubt that he can put a workable nuke on an ICBM.