|North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un|
President Donald Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un a "madman with nuclear weapons" during a telephone call with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, according to a transcript of the conversation released by US media Tuesday.
A White House readout of the April 29 call characterized it as a "very friendly conversation." Days after the conversation, Trump said publicly that he would be "honored" to meet with Kim.
But in the call, Trump hinted at a possible dramatic escalation on the Korean Peninsula.
"We can't let a madman with nuclear weapons let on the loose like that. We have a lot of firepower, more than he has, times 20 -- but we don't want to use it," the US leader said, citing "two nuclear submarines" the Pentagon sent to the area last month.
Transcribed by the Philippine government, the conversation was released by The Washington Post and The Intercept.
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