Trump chastises Kim Jong-un for calling Joe Biden a ‘rabid dog’ that should be killed

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US president says potential Democratic challenger is somewhat better than that and recommends North Korean leader to agree nuclear deal

Donald Trump has come to the defence of one of his potential rivals for the presidency, telling North Korea its recent description of Joe Biden as a” rabid dog” that ought to be” beat to death” was a little unfair.

Trump’s criticism of Pyongyang- albeit via a half-hearted endorsement of Biden’s character- came amid attempts to resurrect stalled nuclear talks, with Trump imploring North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, to “get the deal done”, and the US and South Korea agreeing to postpone an annual air force drill the North routinely denounces as a rehearsal for an invasion.

” Joe Biden may be sleepy and very slow ,” Trump said in a tweet on Sunday, employing his nicknames for Biden,” but he is not a’ rabid puppy .’ He is actually somewhat better than that .”

On Friday, North Korea had accused Biden of having” the temerity to dare defamation the dignity of the supreme leadership”, although the regime did not specify what he had said to provoke its angry response.

” Rabid dogs like Biden can hurt lots of people if they are allowed to run about ,” a statement by the official KCNA news agency said.” They must be beaten to demise with a stick .”

There was speculation that the North felt aggrieved over an ad by the Democratic presidential hopeful’s campaign denouncing Trump’s foreign policy. The ad said that” despots and dictators are praised, our friends pushed aside ,” and featured an image of Trump meeting Kim at their first summit in Singapore last year.

Trump’s tweet turned to the prospects of another meeting with Kim after the two leaders failed to agree on denuclearisation terms at their summit in Hanoi in February.

Addressing Kim as “Mr Chairman”, he said:” I am the only one who can get you where you have to be. You should is quickly, get the deal done. See you soon !”

Sunday’s decision to postpone US-South Korean air force drills, which would have involved an undisclosed number of US and South Korean aircraft, is being seen as an attempt to kickstart denuclearisation talks as the countries edge closer to an end-of-year deadline the North has defined for Washington to come up with a mutually acceptable plan to salvage the dialogue.

The two sides have so far failed to bridge the gap over how far the North would have to go in dismantling its nuclear capability before the US reciprocated by easing sanctions.

The US defence secretary, Mark Esper, denied the indefinite postponement of the already scaled-down drills was a concession to Pyongyang.

Donald
Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un meet in June 2019. The pressure is on to agree some kind of nuclear accord before the end of the year. Photograph: Susan Walsh/ AP

” I don’t see this as a concession. I see this as a good faith effort … to enable peace ,” he said in Bangkok on Sunday.” I suppose creating some more space for our diplomats to strike an agreement on the denuclearisation of the peninsula is very important .”

Pyongyang, however, reportedly held its own air force workouts over the weekend, KCNA said on Monday. It quoted Kim as saying the drills had to be held” without notice under the simulated the standards of real war” for” improving the preparedness” of the country’s military units.

Esper fostered North Korea to” demonstrate the same goodwill as it considers decisions on conducting train, exercises and testing “.

Referring to the country’s official name the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he added:” We also advise the DPRK to return to the negotiating table without precondition or reluctance .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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