North Korea's warning to President Donald Trump and the U.S. on Sept. 21 certainly included the country's usual fiery rhetoric, but underneath its superfluous metaphors, it may have been signaling a more personal message.
The statement, which called Trump "a frightened dog" and a "dotard," was delivered by Kim Jong Un himself, and it even included a picture of the North Korean leader sitting behind a desk, apparently reading from the statement.
Though official communications from North Korea are normally filled with bellicose remarks and often met with skepticism, the country's latest one appeared to take on a more overt personal tone, according to North Korea experts. Such a move is not typical of the country.
Kim's statement took a jab at Trump in part by echoing critics who have rebuked Trump's off-the-cuff remarks in the early months of his presidency.
Describing Trump's Tuesday appearance before the UN General Assembly, Kim said: "I expected he would make stereotyped, prepared remarks a little different from what he used to utter in his office on the spur of the moment as he had to speak on the world's biggest official diplomatic stage.
"But, far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors."
This image was released by the Korean Central News Agency a day after North Korea test-fired a missile over Japan on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.Courtesy of KCNA
Meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday, Trump doubled down and moved to impose further sanctions against North Korea on top of the UN Security Council's recent sanctions.
During his UN speech, Trump decried North Korea's continued provocations and said if it threatened the US, the US would "have no choice but to totally destroy" the country.
North Korea already appeared to be following through with its latest threat. Shortly after Kim made his statement, North Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho said his country may consider testing a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean, according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.
"It could be the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific," Ri said. "We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong Un."
It was not immediately clear whether North Korea was planning such an action. The country successfully tested what it said was a hydrogen bomb earlier this month, and it conducted another missile test days later.
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