North Korea may not have achieved parity with the U.S. in terms of weaponry, but they are fast outstripping Washington in the realm of harsh verbal attacks and insults, diagnosing President Donald Trump "incurably mentally deranged" ahead of his first state visit to Asia
The U.S. president will soon begin his 12-day tour of Asia, stopping in Japan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam and South Korea.
Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have traded colorful personal insults and mutual threats of annihilation in recent months.
The U.S. president called Kim “little Rocket Man” while promising to unleash “fire and fury” on the North. Kim memorably responded by calling Trump a “dotard” and “the old psychopath of America.”
Prior to Trump's visit, Pyongyang's official Korea Central News Agency blasted the "bellicose and irresponsible rhetoric" by Trump. "He absolutely needs medicine for curing his psychological disorder," it said, calling Trump the "master of the invective." "(Trump has) disclosed his true nature as a nuclear war maniac before the world and was diagnosed as 'incurably mentally deranged.'"
Pyongyang has pursued the development of a nuclear deterrent to prevent an invasion by the United States. The development of North Korea's so-called 'nuclear hammer of justice" has prompted new rounds of punitive sanctions on Pyongyang.
The KCNA has described the sanctions as "desperate efforts" that won't achieve their desired goals.
The latest standoff has heightened concerns among South Koreans, despite many having grown used to periodic flare-ups of tension.
In his address to the National Assembly, South Korean President Moon Jae-In – an advocate of engaging North Korea and bringing it to the negotiating table – insisted: "There should be no military action on the peninsula without our prior consent." The fate of the region should be determined by Koreans alone, he said, noting that the country should "not repeat the tragic history" of colonization and division.
The Korea Peninsula was under the yoke of Imperial Japan from 1910 to 1945. Following Tokyo's unconditional surrender in 1945, Korea was divided into separate zones of occupation by the Soviet Union and the U.S. Seoul is home to 10 million people and only about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the heavily-fortified border, within range of Pyongyang's massive artillery forces.
“The U.S. is running wild in a bid to hold in check the advance of the DPRK for perfecting its state nuclear force,” KCNA said in a separate article. “The DPRK had access to its self-defensive nuclear deterrent and has bolstered it up rapidly by tightening its belt in order to put a definite end to the U.S. imperialists' outrageous nuclear threat and blackmail and pave an avenue to independent development and eternal prosperity.”