North Korean leader Kim Jong-un responded to Trump’s fiery speech at the UN with one of his own, threatening to “tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire.” But it was his use of the word “dotard” that caught America’s attention.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly for the first time. In his controversial speech, Trump referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “rocket man,” and threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if the US was forced to defend itself.
In response, Kim issued a statement Thursday, calling Trump’s speech “unprecedented rude nonsense” and advising him to “exercise prudence in selecting words.”
Kim stated that he would not abandon Pyongyang’s nuclear tests, and threatened to make Trump “pay dearly” for his speech.
“His remarks…have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last,” the statement read. “Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say.”
While his rhetoric offered nothing new of substance, Kim did introduce a lot of people to a new word, referring to Trump as a “dotard” multiple times.
The unfamiliar phrase caused many Americans to grab a dictionary. Merriam-Webster said online searches for the phrase were “high as a kite.”
The Oxford dictionary defines “dotard” as: “An old person, especially one who has become weak or senile.”
Many were quick to praise Kim for his use of the uncommon English word, while some cemented it as a new nickname for Trump.
However, some pointed to the fact that Kim’s original statement in Korean referred to Trump with a phrase that directly translates to “lunatic old man.”
There were also many who criticized Americans for celebrating an oppressive dictator insulting the president.