In Summary
  • The members of the ruling Kim dynasty — past and present — enjoy near god-like status in North Korea.
  • Trump has played hawk and dove with the North during his sweep of five Asian countries.


US President Donald Trump took his verbal jousting with Kim Jong-Un to a new level Sunday, taunting the North Korean leader over his height and weight before musing over the idea of them eventually becoming friends.

While they have never met, Trump and Kim have form when it comes to name-calling, with the US president a more than willing match for the highly rhetorical flourishes deployed by his adversary in Pyongyang.

Trump has referred to Kim as a "madman" and "Rocket Man" while the 33-year-old responded by calling the 71-year-old former reality TV star a "mentally deranged dotard".

On Sunday Trump got down to basics, with a sarcastic tweet prompted by recent descriptions of him in the North's state media as a "lunatic old man".

"Why would Kim Jong-Un insult me by calling me 'old' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat'?" the president tweeted from Hanoi — the latest leg of a lengthy Asia tour that had, until then, appeared to have moderated his Twitter habit.

"Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!" he wrote.

Sarcastic or not, the dig about Kim's weight, which has increased significantly since he came to power following the death of his father Kim Jong-Il in 2011, is unlikely to go down well in Pyongyang.

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