North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called US President Donald Trump “mentally deranged” and said he would “pay dearly” for the recent threats against his country. In a rare statement directly attributed to the North Korean leader, Kim said on Friday that Trump is “unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country”, describing the president as “a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire”. Kim’s statement was a response to Trump’s combative speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, when Trump stated “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission”.
Trump warned Pyongyang that Washington would “totally destroy” North Korea if the US or its allies were attacked. North Korea says it needs a nuclear arms to protect it from an aggressive US, and the autocratic regime has made militarism a central part of its national ideology. North Korea’s stated objective is to be able to target the US mainland, and it has shown off advances in its nuclear weapons during Trump’s term with a September test of what it said was a miniaturized hydrogen bomb capable of being loaded onto a rocket.