On Thursday a North Korean state newspaper called US President Donald Trump a “reckless war machine” and a “lunatic.” The report, published in Rodong Sinmun, suggested that Trump could try to distract from political issues in his own country by launching a preemptive strike against Pyongyang.
"No one can predict what a reckless action Trump will take, as he is in the grip of the worst ruling crisis,” the report read, according to International Business TImes. “Due to the hysterical action of Trump, a rough and reckless war maniac, the same extremely dangerous situation as the one in April last when the US was rumored to mount a ‘preemptive strike at the north’ is being created on the Korean peninsula."
The newspaper suggested that Trump’s behavior is common for US presidents, who try to divert attention from stateside political crises by ratcheting up tensions with other countries. "It is the trite method of the successive US rulers to find a way out in unleashing a war of aggression whenever the ruling crisis was aggravated," Rodung Sinmun said.
During the US presidential election, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) took a very different stance on Trump, with a propaganda website calling him a "wise politician" and a "a prescient presidential candidate,” while blasting his chief rival Hillary Clinton as "thick headed."
This was before Trump took a hard stance against Pyongyang, as his plans for the Asia-Pacific region remained unclear when he first entered office.
In the last few months, however, the US president has become increasingly hostile to the communist nation as North Korea continues to test ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. Pyongyang is reportedly working to develop a nuclear-armed projectile that could reach the US mainland, and US experts fear it is no longer a question of if, but when, they’ll achieve that goal.
Washington riled Pyongyang when it sent what Trump described as an "armada" near the Korean Peninsula to take part in trilateral military drills with South Korea, one of Washington’s major regional allies, and Japan. A US Navy carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson and later joined by the USS Michigan, a nuclear-powered submarine equipped with Tomahawk missiles, represented the US in the drills.
The Rodong Sinmun article sent a warning to Seoul saying that they "had better understand that if they persist in the war drills against the North, pursuant to lunatic Trump, they would be plunged into the worst disaster."
The report comes not long after the death of Otto Warmbier, a US student who was detained in North Korea after allegedly attempting to steal a propaganda poster from the hotel where he (was) staying. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor for the offense.
Warmbier entered a coma soon after sentencing under circumstances still not clear, and died on Monday after he was returned to his family in the US.
Trump blamed North Korea and leader Kim Jong-un and called Warmbier’s death "a total disgrace," though the US has mounted no formal response.
This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.