WORLD
RESPONSE TO KIM JONG'S 'NUCLEAR BUTTON IS ALWAYS ON MY DESK' THREAT
Trump taunts North Korea: My nuclear button is 'Much Bigger & More Powerful'
- TEAM PT
Trump taunts North Korea: My nuclear button is 'Much Bigger & More Powerful'



US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP escalated his war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday evening, asserting that his "nuclear button" is "much bigger & more powerful" than the North Korean leader's and threatening that the U.S. arsenal "works."
 
The US President was responding to the North Korean leader’s New Year address wherein he threatened US with his country’s nuclear abilities. In a televised speech on Monday, Kim said, "the entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk. This is reality, not a threat.” He also said the North would mass produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles in 2018 for operational deployment and use the "nuclear button” if his country was threatened.

"North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!" Trump tweeted.
 
The exchange represents a ratcheting up of rhetoric, after Trump in recent months had adopted a measured approach to North Korea - relative to last summer, when he warned of "fire and fury" - at the urging of his national security team.

Earlier Tuesday, however, Trump revived his derisive nickname for Kim - "rocket man" - in response to signs of relaxed tensions between South Korea and North Korea. South Korea agreed to an offer from North Korea for the two countries to talk ahead of next month's Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Kim said in his Monday address that he was willing to send a delegation of North Korean athletes to the Olympics.

In his Tuesday tweet, Trump wrote: "Sanctions and 'other' pressures are beginning to have a big impact on North Korea. Soldiers are dangerously fleeing to South Korea. Rocket man now wants to talk to South Korea for first time. Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not - we will see!"
 
Unsurprisingly, Trump's unorthodox tweet sent social media into a frenzy. Here are some reactions:
 
Many people online have expressed alarm at the apparently light-hearted use of nuclear threats by world leaders.
 
 
This is not the first time Trump and Kim have mocked each other. In 2017, Trump had warned that the US would have no choice but to "totally destroy” North Korea if forced to defend itself or its allies. The US President also led a global campaign to pressure North Korea into giving up the development of nuclear-tipped missiles through sanctions. The United Nations has imposed unprecedented sanctions on North Korea over its weapons programmes.

North Korea regularly threatens to attack the United States, South Korea and Japan. It tested its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile in November, which it said was capable of delivering a warhead anywhere in the United States.
 

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