President Donald Trump issued a surprisingly insulting tweet Saturday directed at North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
In this undated photo distributed on September 16, 2017, by the North Korean government, leader Kim Jong Un, center, celebrates what was said to be the test launch of an intermediate range Hwasong-12 missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea.
The president's remarks in a wide-ranging talk with reporters on Air Force One en route to Hanoi on Saturday and in his Sunday morning tweets have sharply punctured the careful messaging he and his aides had sought to deliver on a five-nation, 12-day trip through Asia.
Trump, who is 71 years old, made the comment after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam.
Trump is now in Vietnam attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, but he took the time to tweet: "Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old, ' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?'".
"Strange things happen in life". What to do with all of these missile tests?
"I really believe that it makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and to make a deal", Trump said in a press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
"I say to the North: Do not underestimate us, and do not try us", he said.
"Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face".
But in its retort yesterday, North Korea said Mr Trump's warnings "can never frighten us or put a stop to our advance", but rather "pushes us to speed up the efforts to accomplish the great cause of completing the state nuclear force".
"If it did happen it could be a good thing I can tell you for North Korea, but it could also be good for a lot of other places and be good for the rest the world".
For the last months, the two leaders have been on two ends of a bitter war of words prompted in part by Pyongyang refusal to cease ballistic missile tests and the development of nuclear capabilities.
Trump hasn't always been a rhetorical foe of Kim.
Is this politics? I don't even know anymore, maybe it is.
Mr Trump called the claim an "artificial barrier" put up by Democrats and once again cast doubt on the conclusion from his own intelligence agencies that Russian Federation tried to interfere in the presidential poll to ensure Hillary Clinton was defeated.
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