North Korea said it would reopen a long-closed border hotline with South Korea on Wednesday, hours after U.S. President Donald Trump appeared to mock the North’s leader by saying he has a “bigger and more powerful” nuclear button than Kim Jong Un.
A new war of words to start off the new year between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump tweeting on Tuesday (January 2):
“I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his and my button works.”
A direct response to Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s address earlier this week.
(SOUNDBITE) (Korean) NORTH KOREAN LEADER, KIM JONG UN, SAYING:
“The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk.”
That, as Washington says it’s hearing reports that Pyongyang might be preparing for another missile test.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, NIKKI HALEY, SAYING:
“I hope that doesn’t happen. But if it does, we must bring even more measures to bear on the North Korean regime.”
Kim Jong Un has stressed his country will push ahead with “mass producing” nuclear warheads but also said he was open to dialogue with South Korea.
On Wednesday (January 3) the regime announced Kim had given the order to open the border hotline between the two countries, something Pyongyang had cut off in 2016 in response to South Korea slamming down sanctions over the North’s nuclear tests.