North Korea calls Trump a 'psychopath'

US president Donald Trump (Alex Brandon, AP)
US president Donald Trump (Alex Brandon, AP)

Seoul - Korea on Thursday called US President Donald Trump a "psychopath" as tensions soar following the death of American student Otto Warmbier, who was evacuated in a coma from North Korean detention last week.

Pyongyang's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said the US president was in a "tough situation" at home and claimed he was toying with the idea of a preemptive strike on North Korea to divert attention from a domestic political crisis.

"South Korea must realise that following psychopath Trump...will only lead to disaster," an editorial carried by the paper said.

'Bombastic and sometimes racist rhetoric'

A series of atomic tests and missile launches since last year have ratcheted up tensions on the Korean peninsula, and Warmbier's death has further strained relations between Pyongyang and Washington.

Trump slammed the "brutal regime" in Pyongyang, and said he was determined to "prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency."

His language was echoed by South Korean President Moon Jae-In, who said in an interview ahead of a White House visit next week that North Korea bears responsibility for the student's death.

"I believe we must now have the perception that North Korea is an irrational regime," Moon told CBS television's "This Morning."

Moon, a centre-left politician who was sworn in last month after a landslide election win, favours engagement with the North, rather than the hardline stance taken by his ousted conservative predecessor Park Geun-Hye.

Washington has also stepped up its muscle-flexing in the region, flying two B-1 bombers over the Korean peninsula Tuesday in a planned training mission with Japan and South Korea as its latest show of force.

The North has often used bombastic and sometimes racist rhetoric to slam other world leaders for actions that displeased the regime.

Pyongyang compared former US president Barack Obama to a monkey after he supported the 2014 cinematic release of 'The Interview', a Hollywood comedy mocking the North Korean leadership.

The regime has launched vitriolic and sexist verbal attacks on former South Korean president Park on numerous occasions, calling her a "crazy old bitch" and an "ugly female bat".

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Would you choose to continue working from home after the coronavirus lockdown if given the option?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it's much better for me
40% - 6631 votes
No ways! I can't wait to get back to the office
12% - 1947 votes
A mixture of both would suit me best
48% - 7966 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.61
(0.0)
GBP/ZAR
20.02
(0.0)
EUR/ZAR
17.37
(0.0)
AUD/ZAR
11.13
(0.0)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(0.0)
Gold
1,743.98
(0.0)
Silver
25.25
(0.0)
Platinum
1,204.50
(0.0)
Brent Crude
62.95
(-0.4)
Palladium
2,641.93
(0.0)
All Share
67,191
(+0.2)
Top 40
61,459
(+0.3)
Financial 15
12,123
(+0.8)
Industrial 25
87,544
(+0.1)
Resource 10
68,608
(+0.2)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo