Rocket man vs. dotard
September 27, 2017
Last Friday, September 22, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, called President Trump, a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” and threatened to “tame” him. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a dotard is “an old person, especially one who has become weak or senile.”
Kim’s heated words were in response to Trump’s United Nations General Assembly speech earlier in the week where Trump called Kim “rocket man” and threatened to “totally destroy North Korea.”
“Honestly, I didn’t feel like I reacted in any way because both of them have been doing that for a while and both have acted in that way like ‘Oh, I’m gonna bomb you’ but no one does anything,” says Surabhi Kumar (‘19).
Though this unprofessional use of words coming from a politician, not to mention a world leader, would normally surprise people, not many were surprised that Trump had said what he said.
“It was expected. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. And even though it’s very shocking to hear a United States President say that, it’s not very different from what Donald Trump will do,” Cindy Lin (‘20).
Though both Trump and Kim spoke unprofessionally by some standards, they are not the first or only ones to do so. The notorious Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, once called Obama “the son of a whore.”
More outrageously, Back in 1999, Syrian defence minister General Mustafa Tlass, called Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat the “son of 60,000 whores.”
In 2006, President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, called George W. Bush, “the devil.”
“The Devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself, is right in the house. And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here. And it smells of sulphur still today,” said Chavez.
However, he did welcome Obama saying, “It doesn’t smell of sulphur any more. No, it smells of something else. It smells of hope, and you have to have hope in your heart.”
Even though the exchange appears to be very childish and absurd, it is still an exchange between the world leaders and many are worried about the possibility of a nuclear war.
Mr. Murphy, history teacher, says, “I am worried, but there are a lot of advisors to the president and I hope that the people that make up the military and the pentagon will convince the president to act appropriately in the future both with his behavior and his words.”
Fortunately, experts say that the chances of conflict is still slim and that the North Korean nuclear program is more of a bargaining chip than a weapon for war.
Jean Lee, former Associated Press Pyongyang bureau chief says, “No one in the region, not even North Korea, wants another war. But Kim Jong-un is going to push it as far as he can to get what he wants: recognition from the United States that North Korea is a nuclear power, and legitimacy at home as a ruler who can defend his people against the big, bad U.S.”
Though experts are not too worried about conflict, both leaders are unpredictable as can be seen in this exchange. One has the nuclear codes and one could potentially acquire them. Who knows what will happen when they clash?