If ever an exchange deserved the phrase ‘war of words’, it’s that which has gone on between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in recent months.
The US president and North Korean Supreme Leader have indulged in verbal back-and-forths as the ‘rogue state’ has continued with its weapons testing, seemingly making huge strides in both its rockets and the nuclear bombs which they will carry - with threats from either side being so common that it’s been hard to tell the two apart.
However, the North Korean dictator has finally managed to rise, intellectually at least, above his rival by using a word which left people scrabbling for their dictionaries.
The country recently carried out its sixth - and largest - nuclear test, detonating a powerful hydrogen bomb at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the north-east of the country, an action which led to Trump saying on Tuesday that if America was forced to defend itself it would “totally destroy” North Korea; he also mockingly called Mr Kim a “rocket man” on a “suicide mission”.
However, Jong-un has now made an unprecedented personal statement, saying that Trump would “pay dearly” for his comments.
But the two most intriguing lines?
“Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say.”
And: “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U. S. dotard with fire.”
Which led to everyone thinking not ‘we’re all going to die in a massive nuclear war’ but: ‘what is a dotard?’
The use of the word led to searches spiking as people raced to find out what on earth he meant by this term.
And the answer?
According to dictionary.com: noun [doh-terd]: “a person, especially an old person, exhibiting a decline in mental faculties; a weak-minded or foolish old person.”
Well played Mr Jong-un, who has, in one fell swoop, demonstrated that he has a far larger vocabulary than his American rival.
Trump signed a new order boosting sanctions against North Korea on Thursday, with the country’s foreign minister Ri Yong-ho suggesting that they could detonate a powerful nuclear weapon in the Pacific as a response.
Ri, who is due to address the UN general assembly at the weekend, told reporters in New York: “It could be the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific. We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong-un.”
Oh well, at least if things continue to escalate we might learn some fancy new words - although don’t expect any of them to come from Trump.
Here’s Jong-un’s speech in full, if you fancy reading some excellently bellicose talk:
“The speech made by the U.S. president in his maiden address on the UN arena in the prevailing serious circumstances, in which the situation on the Korean peninsula has been rendered tense as never before and is inching closer to a touch-and-go state, is arousing worldwide concern.
“Shaping the general idea of what he would say, I expected he would make stereo-typed, 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.
“A frightened dog barks louder.
“I’d like to advise Trump to exercise prudence in selecting words and to be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world.
“The mentally deranged behavior of the U.S. president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to “totally destroy” a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.
“His remarks remind me of such words as “political layman” and “political heretic” which were in vogue in reference to Trump during his presidential election campaign.
“After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.
“His remarks which described the U.S. option through straightforward expression of his will have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.
“Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history that he would destroy the DPRK, we will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.
“Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say.
“As a man representing the DPRK and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my state and people and on my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK.
“This is not a rhetorical expression loved by Trump.
“I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue.
“Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation.
“I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U. S. dotard with fire.”
Naturally, Trump couldn’t resist yet another comeback, and naturally he did it via Twitter:
Good luck everyone.