North Korea’s Kim Jong Un blasted President Trump as “deranged” after the U.S. slapped his regime with yet another economic blow by targeting those doing business with North Korea.
Trump signed the order on his fourth and final day of meetings at the United Nations headquarters, where he had told diplomats from 193 countries that he was prepared to “totally destroy” North Korea if it kept up its missile threats.
“The mentally deranged behavior of the U.S. president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to ‘totally destroy’ a sovereign state … makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and compsure,” said a statement published by North Korean media.
It continued with Kim saying that Trump would “pay dearly” for his threats, the latest launch in a back-and-forth of words over the country’s nuclear missile program.
The remarks from Kim, whom Trump called “rocket man,” were also peppered personal insults at the President, saying he was “a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire.”
In the end, Trump did not announce any military actions in his UN speech, but instead settled on some of the strictest sanctions yet on Kim’s empire.
The new order allows the U.S. to blacklist people and companies that conduct any business with North Korea, including shipping and trade.
“Our new executive order will cut off sources of revenue that fund North Korea’s efforts to develop the deadliest weapons known to humankind,” Trump told reporters at the UN.
The order is less severe than a sanctions package Trump threatened weeks ago that would have targeted any foreign government that trades with Kim. That order could have potentially launched an economic standoff with China, which is one of the biggest trading partners for both the U.S. and North Korea.
Kim Jong Un in an image released by North Korea’s state-run media Thursday.
But the move showed Trump still hoping that financial threats will be enough to tame Kim’s growing menace with nuclear and long-range missiles. Trump also suggested that Chinese President Xi Jinping had assured he told his nation’s banks to stop dealing with Kim.
Trump hinted that despite his tough talk this week, he was still open to some sort of diplomatic solution with Pyongyang.
When asked by reporters if dialogue was still possible with North Korea, Trump simply replied, “Why not?”
Just last month, Trump had asserted that he was done waiting to settle things civilly with Kim’s rouge regime.
“The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!” Trump tweeted.
United States U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Thursday she hoped the sanctions would “slow down” Kim’s nuclear ambitions — and help America avoid a violent alternative.
“We don’t want war,” she said.
“But at the same time, we’re not gonna run scared. If, for any reason, North Korea attacks the United States or our allies, the U.S. will respond. Period.”