The Trump Mystique

The Trump Mystique

President Donald Trump amped up the energy at the United Nations 72nd General Assembly. At his maiden speech before General Assembly Tuesday, Trump called North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man.” He threatened “to totally destroy” the hermit kingdom. He told reporters, “I have decided” whether to certify the international nuclear pact with Iran — but he would not reveal what that decision might be, not even to British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Kim showed himself game for a verbal food fight. “A frightened dog barks louder,” he wrote in a first-person statement. It ended, the New York Times reports, “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.” Dotard? According to Merriam-Webster, the noun applies to a person in his or her dotage. It’s the sort of word an old person would use.

Former Obama Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher branded the Rocket Man nickname “below the dignity” of an American president. She saw little to gain by poking the North Korean strongman in the eye. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Deutsche Welle, “I am against such threats.”

Their reactions feed a perception that the world’s leaders and diplomats are as appalled at Trump’s trash talk as any MSNBC host. But that’s not how Turtle Bay reacted.

Not long ago, President Moon Jae-In had been pushing for negotiations with Pyongyang. But as Kim’s regime has continued to launch missiles, his tune has changed. Thursday Moon told Trump, “Mr. President, I have met you several times, and I’ve also had many telephone conversations with you. And because of this, I am becoming more and more familiar with you.”

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Moon then described North Korea’s behavior as deplorable, and lauded Trump’s remarks. He said, “Mr. President, in the U.N. General Assembly, you made…


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