Kim Jong-Un Finds His Rhetorical Dance Partner in Trump

August 10, 2017

Geopolitical Monitor

Kimwall, cc Flickr thierry ehrmann, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

Summary

North Korea’s announcement that it’s working on plans to strike Guam with medium-range missiles exploded across the headlines of major news outlets yesterday. Going on rhetoric alone, it would seem that the United States and North Korea are getting ever-closer to outright conflict. Yet Kim Jong-un’s bombastic chest-thumping is anything but new. Just one year ago, the DPRK was releasing its plans to strike the White House, complete with a 3d animation of Kim Jong-un’s fantasy playing out in full low-tech glory.

What is new here is a US president elevating his own rhetoric to Kim’s level. In promising “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” essentially invoking the imagery of a nuclear strike, President Trump is simply leaning into the role ascribed to the United States in North Korea’s propaganda.

 

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