Earlier this week, President Donald Trump referred to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un as "short and fat."
Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
And so, North Korea has decreed that Donald Trump must die.
"The worst crime for which he can never be pardoned is that he dared [to] malignantly hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership," stated an editorial in Rodong Sinmun, the ruling party paper in North Korea. "He should know that he is just a hideous criminal sentenced to death by the Korean people."
The editorial also took a jab at Trump for abandoning his initial plans to tour the Demilitarized Zone due to bad weather.
"It wasn’t the weather. He was just too scared to face the glaring eyes of our troops," the editorial declared.
It's really saying something when you're the American leader who North Korea officially condemned to death, especially since that country has never hesitated to say heinous things about American leaders. The Kim dynasty has been nothing if not creative in its put-downs: Barack Obama was a "juvenile delinquent," a "clown," a "dirty fellow" and needed to go "live with a group of monkeys"; Hillary Clinton was "a funny lady," is "by no means intelligent," a "schoolgirl" and "a pensioner going shopping"; and George W. Bush's entire administration was "a bunch of tricksters and political imbeciles who are the center of a plot breeding fraud and swindle."
Yet it was Trump who angered them so much that he was sentenced to death.
"What's different about the current dynamic is not North Korea's rhetoric, because North Korea — under Kim Jong-un, under Kim Jong-il, and under Kim Il-sung — is no stranger to bombastic rhetoric. And over the years they have talked about turning South Korea into a sea of fire, and this kind of bombastic rhetoric is not new to North Korea," Derek Chollet, the executive vice president of the German Marshall Fund, told Salon. "It is new to the United States, however, and what is unusual is that we have a president who is enthusiastic about playing on North Korea's level in terms of the rhetoric."
He added, "It's not clear to me how this kind of name-calling, schoolyard insult style of diplomacy gets us anywhere."
Chollet was also quick to point out that, while North Korea has not yet launched a physical attack against the United States, they have responded in drastic ways to petty provocations in the past. He pointed to the 2014 film "The Interview" as an important example:
Whether you call that crazy or however you define that, the fact of the matter is, they hacked into Sony Pictures and released all sorts of emails and movies and production and did incredible financial and reputational damage to a major international corporation . . . in response to a movie.
To be fair, Seth Rogen and James Franco are entertainers. Donald Trump was an entertainer, but now he is President of the United States. It remains to be seen how his willingness to go as low as America's self-proclaimed adversary will impact his relationship with North Korea.
Oh wait, we do have a sign. North Korea just condemned him to death.