One of the biggest of which came when Kim Jong-un threatened the US and the rest of the world with the biggest counter-strike in history after Donald Trump dubbed the North Korean regime “depraved”. The chilling warning was made in September 2017 in a rare personal statement from Kim, after President Trump appeared to hint at military action of his own. These comments were later clarified when the North Korean foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, said this could mean the country would test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean.
Mr Yong Ho said: “It could be the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific. We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong-un.”
The foreign minister did not specify where Kim Jong-un said the test would happen near Japan, a frequent test site for Pyongyang.
The North Korean leader said he would consider the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” in response to Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea, which was received as a “declaration of war”.
Kim even branded Trump a “mentally deranged doctard”.
In a speech at the 2017 UN speech, the Supreme Leader also said that Trump is “unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country”.
He also described the US President as “a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire”.
The two leaders have clashed on multiple occasions as President Trump has failed to reach an agreement with North Korea for denuclearisation.
In February 2019, the two met in Hanoi, Vietnam, and talks initially looked promising when a reporter asked Kim whether he was considering denuclearisation.
The North Korean President responded: “If I’m not willing to do that, I wouldn’t be here right now.”
However, just hours later a scheduled lunch between Trump and Kim, as well as a potential joint signing ceremony, was cancelled as talks ultimately fell flat.
Trump said at the time: “We had to walk away from that particular suggestion. We had to walk away from that.”
They also met in Stockholm in last October – but the talks in Sweden broke off with the North’s envoy saying the US failed to show flexibility.
Since November 2017, Kim has overseen 11 missile tests including 10 in 2019 alone.
In 2017, North Korea tested 15 warheads.
Kim has been in the headlines in the last few days as speculation over his health continues.
It was reported over the weekend that China had sent a team of doctors to treat the North Korean leader, who is thought to be ill.
Unconfirmed reports attributed to Beijing even claimed the dictator had died as the doctors arrived too late to complete a heart surgery.
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Added to the mystery was an alleged sighting of Kim’s train by US spy planes, who reportedly tracked down the Supreme Leader’s entourage to his beachside palace in Wonsan on the east coast of the country.
However, yesterday, South Korean officials claimed Kim is “alive and well”.
At a closed-door forum on Sunday, South Korea’s Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul, who oversees engagement with the North, said the government has the intelligence capabilities to say with confidence that there was nothing unusual happening.
Moon Chung-in, the top foreign policy adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, told US media: “Our government position is firm.
“Kim Jong-un is alive and well. He has been staying in the Wonsan area since April 13. No suspicious movements have so far been detected.”
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