On Sunday, President Trump tweeted his latest attack on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, just days after the recluse nation fired yet another missile over Japan. This time, though, Trump unveiled a new nickname for the North Korean leader — and it'll have you singing Elton John for the forseeable future. Trump called Kim Jong Un "rocket man," and you better believe the internet had something to say about it.
Sent shortly before 8 a.m. ET on Sunday, Trump's tweet read, "I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!" The tweet seemed to clearly refer to Kim Jong Un, whose regime launched a ballistic missile over Japan on Friday. According to CNN, it was the second missile to fly over Japan from North Korea in less than a month.
Some Twitter users quickly pointed out the irony of Trump's jab at North Korea's "long gas lines." In the U.S., many gas stations in Florida have seen long lines in recent weeks during the preparation and aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Nevertheless, the most talked-about part of Trump's tweet, by far, was his new nickname for the North Korean leader.
Can the White House please publish Trump's Spotify playlist?
It sounds funny, but is it?
The Man They Think He Is
I'm not sure this is exactly what Elton John had in mind with his song.
For your consideration, Mr. Trump.
In All Seriousness
There could be more important things to talk about.
Funny In A Certain Way
It's good to have a sense of humor.
Let's be honest: This was the most immediate impact of Trump's tweet.
Oh No, No, No
In case the lyrics weren't already stuck in your head...
Does this make Trump's tweet "fake news?"
Something seems different here.
The Real Rocket Man
Let's keep this in perspective.
The Only Rocket Man
Elton John may have been the real winner here.
Not The Time
Clearly, Trump's tweet left social media users divided. Many of his tweets have that effect, but there's something particularly divisive about a joke sent in the midst of escalating international tensions.
The Trump administration's national security advisor fielded questions about the president's strange tweet on Sunday. Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster called the nickname "a new one" during an interview with Fox News, but he also suggested that it was fitting. "Of course, that's where the rockets are coming from," he said.
Still, McMaster was hesitant to make light of the president's tweet. He cautioned that "we ought to probably not laugh too much about" the rockets referenced in Trump's tweet. "They do represent a grave threat to everyone," McMaster said.
Trump's unique rhetoric has become familiar to his Twitter followers, but it's unclear how his words will sound on a world stage. The president will address the United Nations for the first time since taking office this week in New York City. North Korea is likely to come up during the U.N. gathering, but the nickname "rocket man" would surely shock many of the distinguished world leaders in attendance. The details of Trump's speech have been kept under wraps, but U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said on Friday, "I personally think he slaps the right people, he hugs the right people, and he comes out with (the) U.S. being very strong in the end," according to Reuters. No matter how — or if — he mentions it, Trump's speech will take place in the context of increasingly tense relations across the Pacific.