US President Donald Trump, while speaking with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on a telephone call, labelled North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un a “madman with nuclear weapons”, according to a transcript of the conversation released by US media on Tuesday. President Trump’s comment comes just days before stating publicly that he would be “honoured” to meet with Kim.
A White House readout of the April 29th call characterised it as a “very friendly call.” However, with such comments, Trump threatens to raise the tensions in the region.
“We can't let a madman with nuclear weapons let on the loose like that. We have a lot of firepower, more than he has, times 20, but we don't want to use it,” Trump said, taking into consideration the “two nuclear submarines” sent by the Pentagon to the region last month.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (Source: philstar)
President Trump sought Duterte’s input on whether he believes Kim is “stable or not”. To which the Filipino president responded that Kim is “playing with his bombs, his toys” and offered that “his mind is not working well and he just might go crazy one moment.”
But, Trump expressed some satisfaction in North Korea’s recent failed missile tests, noting that “all his rockets are crashing. That’s the good news.”
Trump’s conversation with Duterte was mostly focused on how to deal with North Korea. Turning to China, President Trump asked him whether China can exert more leverage on Kim’s regime. When asked whether China has power over Kim, Duterte replied, “Yes, at the end of the day, the last card, the ace, has to be with China. It’s only China.”
“I hope China solves the problem. They really have the means because a great degree of their stuff come through China,” Trump said. “But if China doesn't do it, we will do it.”
Duterte then offered to call Chinese President Xi Jinping and emphasise the importance of altering Pyongyang’s behaviour.
“You can tell him I am counting on him,” Trump replied, and added: “I have a very good relationship with him. I had him in Florida for two days and got to know him well. He is a good guy.”
Trump congratulated Duterte on doing a ‘great job’ in his controversial drug war that has killed thousands of people.
Towards the end of the call, Trump invited Duterte to visit the White House anytime he wishes to and called him a “good man”.
“I will love to have you in the Oval Office,” Trump said. “Any time you want to come. Seriously, if you want to come over, just let us know. Just take care of yourself, and we will take care of North Korea.”
Information source: washingtonpost