Another week brings another reminder that the U.S. and North Korea are locked in an apparent nuclear stare down thanks to giving the launch codes to two respective leaders with the impulse control of toddlers.
President Trump’s latest 140-character missive dropped at 4:53 a.m. Sunday, with him both touting a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and making bizarre references to North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un.
I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 17, 2017
“I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night,” Trump tweeted. “Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!”
The tweet is likely a reference to Jon-Un’s regime launching a ballistic missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido Friday. The intermediate-range missile reportedly traveled for approximately 2,300 miles east before landing in the Pacific Ocean. After the launch, Jong-Un made his intentions for the test rather clear.
According to the Korean Central News Agency, Jong-Un said North Korea’s “final goal is to establish the equilibrium of real force with the U.S. and make the U.S. rulers dare not talk about military option[s].”
Counter threats from Trump, repudiation from other world leaders and a sternly worded condemnation from the United Nations Security Counsel have seemingly had little to no impact. New U.N. sanctions also cut oil exports to North Korea, hence Trump’s line about “long gas lines forming.”
North Korea has continued making headlines for weapon tests, including its most powerful nuclear test to date on September 3, as well as two recent flight tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles that Jong-Un believes could strike deep into the United States mainland if finalized.
Given that the President is mixing in Elton John references with his tough talk, a recent White House press release outlining Trump’s talks with Jae-in doesn’t paint a particularly hopeful picture.
“President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea to discuss the allied response to North Korea’s claimed September 3 test of a hydrogen bomb,” read a White House release dated September 4. “The two leaders agreed to maximize pressure on North Korea using all means at their disposal. They also pledged to strengthen joint military capabilities.”