The ever social-media-present Merriam-Webster dictionary tweeted out on Wednesday that after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called Donald Trump a "dotard," searches for the definition of it have skyrocketed. But what, exactly, is a dotard? Twitter certainly couldn't wait to find out.
According to Merriam-Webster, a dotard is someone "in his or her dotage," which, it follows, is someone in "a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness." Kim used the word to describe Trump in an eviscerating response to the president's Sept. 19 United Nations address, which personally attacked Kim and threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea.
Not one to take things lightly, Kim issued a rambling, ominous response through the Korean Central News Agency. Referring to Trump, he promised he "will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire." Among other things, Kim also described Trump as "a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician." He also said Trump would "pay dearly" for the threats delivered at the UN General Assembly.
The two leaders have been in a tit-for-tat back and forth for months, with each leader exchanging insult-ridden statements and speeches at a rapid pace.
This isn't the first time that North Korean leaders have accused Trump of being less than mentally agile. Back in August, North Korean General Kim Rak-gyom remarked that "sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason who is going senile." That particular insult, almost identical in sentiment to Kim Jong Un's Wednesday remarks, was in response to a previous instance of Trump-issued military threat toward North Korea. At the time, Trump had threatened to unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if North Korea continued to work on its nuclear missile program.
Evidently, neither leader has changed his perspective on the issue. Instead, during the first week of the U.N.'s annual General Assembly meeting at its New York City headquarters, the two have continued to fight.
In his KCNA-issued retort, Kim Jong Un took a mocking tone to Trump's arguable lack of respect toward the international organization whose core tenet is to maintain peace among its member states. Trump could have been "helpful to defusing tension," Kim said, but instead he chose "unprecedented rude nonsense."
Of course, this comes from the leader of a country that has reportedly tested 22 missiles since February, according to CNN. North Korea also entirely ignores the international norm of nuclear nonproliferation, the generally lauded agreement that countries who don't have nuclear weapons already should not pursue them, for the sake of peace. In fact, North Korea actually withdrew from an international nonproliferation agreement back in 2003. Suffice it to say, neither side has a leg to stand on insofar as a commitment to promoting international peace. Each time one threatens violence, the other also threatens violence.
Whether Kim intends to follow through with his threat that Trump would "pay dearly" for attacking North Korea on an international stage is currently unclear. As of now, it's just a piece of an alarmingly familiar back and forth between the two leaders.
Ironically, Kim's latest litany of insults and threats comes on the U.N.-sanctioned International Day of Peace, "a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace." Each year, the holiday has a theme. To make the timing of this series of violent threats even worse, this year's theme was "Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All," according to the U.N.'s website. Apparently neither leader got the memo.