During his first-ever address before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Donald Trump repeated an insult he initially tweeted at North Korea’s Kim Jong-un over the weekend. “Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime,” the president told the assembly. “The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary.” This led a rather verbose statement from the North Korean leader Thursday night, and a subsequent Twitter rant by Trump the following morning. According to a Los Angeles Times report, however, this could have all been avoided.
Per two U.S. officials familiar with the contents of Trump’s written speech, the phrases “Rocket Man on a suicide mission” and “totally destroy” were not in the original remarks senior White House staffers and advisers reviewed and vetted on Monday. To make matters worse, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and many others “had argued for months against making the attacks on North Korea’s leader personal.” They worried doing so would surely “backfire” due to the volatile nature of Trump’s target:
A detailed CIA psychological profile of Kim, who is in his early 30s and took power in late 2011, assesses that Kim has a massive ego and reacts harshly and sometimes lethally to insults and perceived slights.
It also says that the dynastic leader — Kim is the grandson of the communist country’s founder, Kim Il Sung, and son of its next leader, Kim Jong Il — views himself as inseparable from the North Korean state.
Considering the highly charged nature and content of Kim’s response to Trump, it comes as no surprise that the figure described above would describe his attacker as “a mentally deranged U.S. dotard” whose threats must be met “with fire.” It’s also no surprise, frighteningly enough, that the North Korean leader and his administration are threatening to conduct a surface test of a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific.
(Via Los Angeles Times)