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View more articles by Dagyum Ji
Dagyum Ji is a senior NK News correspondent based in Seoul. She previously worked for Reuters TV.
The U.S. will “pay dearly” for recent threats by President Donald Trump to destroy the DPRK, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Thursday, in a statement issued under his name on Friday.
In a response to the President’s speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Kim warned that Trump would “face results beyond his expectation” and said North Korea would soon take “highest-level” actions in retaliation.
“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,” the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted the leader as having said in a rare statement.
Kim also said Trump “could have expected” Pyongyang’s response when he “allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue.”
“His remarks… have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct.”
In a widely anticipated first speech to world leaders on Tuesday, Donald Trump condemned the North Korean leadership as “gangsters,” and said the U.S. would be able to “totally destroy” the DPRK should it need to.
Kim said Trump had “made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history.”
“We will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history,” the statement read.
“Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say,” Kim added, pledging that he would “surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U. S. dotard with fire.”
In words that echoed Trump’s Tuesday speech, Kim described the U.S. President as a “rogue” and a “gangster.”
The North Korean leader said he had expected Trump to deliver “stereo-typed, prepared remarks a little different from what he used to utter in his office on the spur of the moment,” and that the Korean peninsula has been approaching a “touch-and-go state.”
The North Korean leader said Trump’s remarks about total destruction were “beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system,” claiming that he had considered him a “political layman” and “heretic” when he was a presidential candidate.
North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho on Wednesday described Trump’s comments as “the sound of a dog barking”
“There is a saying that goes: ‘Even when dogs bark, the parade goes on’,” Ri told media in New York.
“If (Trump) was thinking about surprising us with dog-barking sounds then he is clearly dreaming.”
Kim Hyun-wook, a professor at the government-affiliated Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA) in Seoul, said the Trump administration may “remain silent or tone down” its rhetoric in response to Kim’s statement.
“The Trump administration aims to make Pyongyang come forward to dialogue for denuclearization by using harsh language and browbeating a counterpart,” Kim told NK News. “But Washington doesn’t want to make an unnecessary armed clash or provocation.”
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)