United States (US) President Donald Trump warned Kim Jong-Un on Tuesday that he has a “much bigger” nuclear button than the North Korean leader, as Washington dismissed the prospect of high-level talks between Pyongyang and Seoul.
Trump launched the highly personal missive on Twitter hours after his Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Nikki Haley described the proposed dialogue between the two Koreas as a “band-aid” and said Washington would never accept a nuclear-armed Pyongyang.
Trump said: “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ “Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
The tweet was in reference to Kim’s annual New Year address in which he warned he has a “nuclear button” on his table, but sweetened his remarks by expressing an interest in dialogue and taking part in the Pyeongchang Games next month.
South Korea has responded positively to Kim’s overture, suggesting January 9 as a date for rare talks aimed at easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
But the US questioned whether the upcoming talks could be taken seriously.
North Korea has rattled the international community in recent months with multiple missile launches and its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, purportedly of a hydrogen bomb.
It has shrugged off a raft of new sanctions and heightened rhetoric from Washington as it drives forward with its weapons program, which it says is for defense against US aggression.
Pyongyang claims it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself from a hostile Washington and has striven to create a warhead capable of targeting the US mainland with an atomic warhead.