Fierce Backlash After Trump Taunts North Korea Over “Bigger” Nuclear Button

Ridicule—some in the form of Viagra jokes—abound.

Bruce R. Bennett/ZUMA

President Donald Trump drew swift condemnation Tuesday evening after he insulted North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un with a less than presidential tweet bragging about America’s stronger nuclear capabilities. 

Trump’s reference to having access to a “nuclear button”—one he insisted was larger and “more powerful” than Kim’s button—also prompted ridicule, some of which came in the form of jokes about male-enhancing drugs. (By the way, no such button exists.) Others pointed to Trump’s history of being overly concerned with size—from crowd numbers to the dimensions of his hands—and the dangers of having such an obsession drive foreign policy as tensions worsen between the two countries.

In his annual New Year’s address, Kim warned the US against further provoking North Korea into nuclear war, but he also appeared newly open to engaging in diplomatic talks with South Korea. South Korea quickly responded with a proposal to hold meetings at the border as soon as next week, with South Korea’s unification minister emphasizing that the country was willing to hold talks aimed at peace with North Korea “at any time and place, and in any form.”

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley offered a starkly different reaction to North Korea’s surprising overture. “North Korea can talk with anyone they want but the US is not going to recognize it or acknowledge it until they agree to ban the nuclear weapons that they have,” she said.