‘Bad dude,’ ‘Rocket Man,’ ‘dotard’: History of taunts between Trump and Kim

FILE- In this Aug. 10, 2017, file photo, a man watches a television screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)(AP/Ahn Young-joon)

WASHINGTON — The war of words between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un has escalated in recent days after Trump’s comments at the U.N. General Assembly. But the colorful exchange of verbal taunts between the two leaders go back months.

Here’s a look at the insults and threats exchanged between Trump and Kim (and other North Korean officials).

What Trump said:

The most recent verbal sparring began after Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday where he referred to Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man” and said the North Korean leader “is on a suicide mission for himself.”

What Kim said:

That sparked a response from Kim Jon Un Friday, who read a lengthy statement broadcast on North Korea state television in which he called Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”

What Trump said:

Trump’s response on Twitter? The North Korean dictator is “obviously a madman” and “will be tested like never before.”

What Trump said:

The tough talk and insult trading didn’t just begin this week. In fact, Trump debuted the “Rocket Man” line on Twitter last week.

What Kim said:

After the U.N. speech in which Trump also said the U.S. would “totally destroy North Korea” in the event of an attack by the Asian country, North Korea’s foreign minister appeared to liken Trump’s speech to the sound of dogs barking.

“It would be a dog’s dream if he intended to scare us with the sound of a dog barking,” North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong told reporters.

What Trump said:

In August, after news reports indicated U.S. intelligence believed North Korea had produced a nuclear warhead capable of fitting inside a missile, Trump responded:  “North Korea had best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

What Kim said:

After the “fire and fury” comments, a top North Korean military official called those threats “a load of nonsense” from “a guy bereft of reason.” Gen. Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the North’s strategic rocket forces, was quoted new report from the state broadcaster as saying Trump had showed his “senility” again.

The exchange of barbs even predates Trump’s tenure as president.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump called Kim a “bad dude” and said he “would get China to make that guy disappear in one form or another very quickly.”

One of the first insults Trump lobbed at Kim came well before he was even a candidate for president, according to a search of the Trump’s personal Twitter feed. In an April 2013 tweet, Trump called Kim a “wack job” and said at some point the U.S. would have to make “blatant threats” against the leader.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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