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'Dotard' meets 'rocket man': The bitter past of Trump-Kim relationship

Only until months ago, the two leaders had been calling each other names like 'dotard', 'mad man' and 'rocket man'

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un
Donald Trump looks forward to meeting Kim Jong Un Photo: Reuters

With US President Donald Trump meeting North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un within months of trading insults and threatening each other with nuclear annihilation, the relationship between the two leaders will probably go down in history as one of the most extraordinary ones.

Only until a few months ago, the two leaders had been making insulting remarks against each other and flaunting their respective military might to threaten each other. As the two leaders meet in Singapore to settle down their differences, here's a look at the bitter past of their relationship:

'Mentally deranged dotard'

The Pyongyang leader, notorious for using bombastic, derogatory and often awkward English phrases to attack enemies, in September 2017 branded Donald Trump as a 'mentally deranged US dotard'.

Kim's use of 'dotard' left many people scratching their heads and reaching out for a dictionary.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word as 'an old person, especially one who has become weak and senile'.

The word was an instant hit on Twitter, with more than 100,000 mentions of the hashtag #dotard and 189,000 mentions of the word on Twitter in a single day, according to social media analytics firm Talkwalker.

ALSO READ: Live: Trump, Kim shake hands; historic summit begins at Sentosa island

'Little rocket man'

A day after Kim called him a 'dotard', Trump shot back at the North Korean leader by referring to him as a 'Little Rocket Man'.

Addressing a campaign rally in Alabama on September 22, Trump said that 'rocket man' should have been handled by the previous US administrations, and added that he would do that now.

'Little rocket man. We're going to do it. Because we really have no choice, we really have no choice,' he said.

Though this was the first time that Trump called Kim a 'little rocket man', he had several times in the past termed Kim as a 'rocket man'.


Also read: How Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un traded insults and threats ahead of meet

'Madman who doesn't mind starving people'

The same day, Trump also called Kim 'a madman' who doesn't mind starving or killing his people'.

"Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!" Trump said in a tweet.

'Short and fat'

In an apparent reaction to Kim's 'dotard' insult, Trump took aim at the North Korean leader's physical dimensions.

"Why would Kim Jong Un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat'?" he tweeted.

North Korea's ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun reacted to the insult, saying that Trump had "malignantly hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership", and was "a hideous criminal sentenced to death by the Korean people".

'Frightened dog'

Following Trump's address at the UN General Assembly in September 2017, where he termed Kim Jong Un 'Rocket Man', the North Korean leader launched a salvo of threats aimed at Trump.

"A frightened dog barks louder," North Korea's state-sanctioned news organisation said in a statement.

The exchange over 'nuclear button'

Apart from personal insults, the most memorable exchange between the two leaders was over a 'nuclear button'. It started with Kim stating that a "nuclear button is on my desk all the time". In response, Trump said he too had a nuclear button on his desk, which was much bigger and more powerful than that of Kim's.

"Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!" Trump said on Twitter.


With agency inputs

First Published: Tue, June 12 2018. 07:38 IST
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