World leaders fear US-DPRK insults could lead to real-world war

World Today

TV screens show a news program with an image of U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, at the Yongsan Electronic Market in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. South Korea seemed to downplay the latest hot rhetoric aimed at North Korea by President Trump, calling his words a signal of Washington’s strong resolve to deal with the North’s march to nuclear weapons mastery but essentially a repetition of U.S. policy. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Insults flew this week at the 2017 U.N. General Assembly. U.S. President Trump started by lashing out at Democratic People’s Republic of Korea leader Kim Jong-un, and the situation only spiraled from there.

CGTN’s Nathan King reports.

Responding to President Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” the DPRK, Kim Jong-un (whom Trump described as a “rocket man on a suicide mission”) offered up his own carefully chosen words.

“The mentally deranged behavior of the U.S. president, openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to ‘totally destroy’ a sovereign state… makes even those with normal thinking faculty reconsider discretion and composure.”

Responding to this response, the U.S. president took to Twitter, saying: “Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!”

The DPRK’s leader in turn threatened “the highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.”

The escalating rhetoric and personal insults flying between the two leaders is leaving some fearful that this war or words may turn into an actual war if tensions continue to mount. 

U.N. Secretary General António Guterres and the foreign ministers of China and Russia are among the leaders who have called for a rollback in the rhetoric. The situation, however, has only continued to worsen.

Trump challenged not only the DPRK this week, but also used strong words to criticize the leaders of Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba.

Cuba’s foreign minister hit back on Friday, calling Trump’s U.N. speech “unacceptable and aggressive.” The minister then turned to the problem of income disparity.

“On Tuesday, President Donald Trump came here to convince us that one of his purposes is to promote the prosperity of nations and persons. But in the real world, the wealth owned by eight men together is the equivalent to the wealth shared by 3.6 billion human beings who make up the poorest half of humanity.”

Some fear the next clash could come between Washington and Iran. Trump this week labeled the two year-old nuclear agreement an embarrassment and gave his strongest indication yet that the U.S. may pull out.