In Brief

Donald Trump lapsing into ‘the dotage of a dotard’, says North Korea

Insult came after US president again talked of military action

North Korea has renewed its verbal attacks on President Trump, describing him as a “dotard” for a second time, after he raised the prospect of military action against the regime.

The North Korean foreign ministry said his words “must really be diagnosed as the relapse of the dotage of a dotard”.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a dotard as “a person whose mental faculties are impaired, specifically, a person whose intellect or understanding is impaired in old age”.

The use of the term, which the North first used to describe Trump in 2017, came after Trump said that Kim “likes sending rockets up” and reserved the right to use military force against Pyongyang.

, North Korea's First Vice-Foreign Minister, was quoted by

According to North Korea's state news agency, the country’s foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, said he could “not repress displeasure over the utterances made by President Trump inappropriately at the most sensitive time”.

The statement “has a serious undertone”, says The Guardian, because the last time the two leaders were “exchanging epithets” their countries were on the brink of conflict.

The US and North Korea have since held face-to-face talks, in Singapore in June 2018, and in Vietnam in February this year, aimed at denuclearisation.

However, the talks haves since stalled, and despite an eye-catching meeting between the two presidents at the demilitarised zone separating North and South Korea in June, the North has restarted testing of short-range ballistic missiles.

An analyst said the latest war of words could herald a wake-up call for the US president. “I think we're seeing the start of what could be a return to a very familiar crisis in 2020,” Ankit Panda, North Korea expert at the Federation of American Scientists, told the BBC.

“We're beginning to see the scenario that many of us had warned of from the get-go of diplomacy: a capricious and irritable Trump coming to terms with the reality of his reality-TV diplomacy with North Korea.”

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