My nuclear button ‘bigger, more powerful’, Trump tells Kim

US President Donald Trump (File Photo)

Washington, Jan 3 : President Donald Trump has declared that his nuclear button is “much bigger” and “more powerful” than North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s after the latter threatened the US about Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities.

“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 and more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

Trump’s tweet was the latest contribution to the increasingly personalized feud between the nuclear-armed leaders.

Kim in his annual New Year’s Day address had warned Washington that his nuclear launch button was “always on my table”.

“The entire mainland of the US is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office. They should accurately be aware that this is not a threat but a reality,” he said on Monday.

Kim had also expressed a desire for a peaceful resolution with South Korea. On Wednesday, both the countries reopened a hotline, almost two years after it was disabled.

Responding to Kim’s attempt to mend ties with Seoul, Trump said the potentially warm gesture… from Pyongyang was “perhaps” good news, “perhaps not”, and referred to “sanctions and ‘other’ pressures” on North Korea.

Trump’s unorthodox words warning Kim sent social media into a frenzy. Several argued that Twitter should not allow “calls for nuclear war” to be broadcast on its platform.

Some people said the tweet should qualify as a violation of Twitter’s policy prohibiting threats of violence.

But Trump’s supporters defended him, saying that Kim, as a dictator responsible for global instability and widespread suffering of his own people, deserved to be insulted.

They said the US President’s comments were both “factually accurate and showed American strength and resolve”.

Later on Tuesday night, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the US approach to North Korea had not changed, that Washington continued to regard Pyongyang as a “global threat” and wanted an international solution while keeping “all of our options on the table”.

Trump’s statements came on the same day South Korea proposed to hold a high-level meeting with North Korea that could take place on January 9.

This meeting, which Kim has not accepted yet, would be the first of its kind in more than two years between these two neighbouring countries.