Thursday, September 28, 2017

Should Trump mock Kim Fatty the 3rd?

Should Trump mock Kim fatty the 3rd?
Eric Ertl

On September 19th, Trump threatened to "totally destroy North Korea" if they seriously threatened the United States. Kim Jong Un, or "Rocket Man" as Trump likes to call him, replied to this threat by calling Trump a "...mentally deranged US dotard". Although this exchange of words may just be threats and insults, it does escalate the tension between the two countries. With North Korea continuing to develop their nuclear program, does North Korea pose a threat to the United States? And if so, should Trump really provoke Kim Jong Un?
Despite the fact that the country of North Korea is severely impoverished due to a combination of a poorly run command economy, economic sanctions, and a flawed food distribution system that leaves millions starving each night, North Korea still poses a threat to the United States. Why? Nuclear weapons. Kim Jong Un throws a lot of time and money into his nuclear weapons program, the opportunity cost being spending less money helping citizens climb out of poverty. Although it is hard to find written poverty statistics due to censorship within the country, images captured from inside North Korea, like the one on the right, tell the whole story. More images of North Korean poverty can be found here. Despite this high level of poverty in Kim's country, he continues to spend money on nuclear weapons in order to stay in power and pretend that his country is relevant in comparison to other powerful countries like the United States. Kim's nuclear program has also caused countries like the United States to impose economic sanctions, that further hurt the country's impoverished economy. Despite this, Kim continues to pour money into his military program, an astonishing 22% of his country's Gross Domestic Product (~10 billion USD), the most of any nation, into the program. About a month ago, North Korea has claimed that they could produce a hydrogen bomb, a bomb roughly 8 times more powerful than the bomb the U.S. dropped on Nagasaki during World War II. With the increase in missile testing North Korea has done over the past year, they might have the ability to send an ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) to a target of their choosing. A continued increase of funding into the nuclear program will allow North Korea to eventually be able to mount the warhead (H-Bomb) onto an ICBM and be able to cause massive amounts of damage with it. These factors alone should be enough proof that we should be wary of North Korea because they do pose a threat to countries around the globe.

Although North Korea will mostly likely not use these weapons to harm the United States due to the fact we could completely eradicate their country, that does not mean we should trade insults and threats with North Korea. Trading insults only escalates tensions which may lead North Korea to pull the trigger if they believe their mission is threatened. If North Korea pulled the trigger, the opportunity cost would almost certainly be the end of Kim's leadership. Donald Trump tweeted the following post (see left), essentially saying that he would get rid of Rocket Man and the Foreign Minister of North Korea. Kim responded in a rare direct statement, and stated that Trump would "pay dearly" for the threats, and that North Korea "will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history" (CNN). These are serious threats being thrown around, and should not be taken lightly by either side. Instead of responding to these threats and insults, Trump should ignore them and take serious measures into stopping the North Korean nuclear program.
With North Korea expanding their nuclear program, they pose a legitimate concern to the safety of the United States and other countries around the globe. Trump should not provoke Kim Jong Un because if the guy is crazy enough spend more money on a nuclear program instead of trying to help his country succeed, he might be crazy enough to nuke another country-- especially a country that mocks and insults his every decision.



Works Cited

“10 Facts About Poverty in North Korea.” The Borgen Project, 20 Mar. 2017, borgenproject.org/poverty-in-north-korea/. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.
Beauchamp, Zack. “Why North Korea's latest threats are far more serious than its typical bluster.” Vox, Vox, 22 Sept. 2017, www.vox.com/world/2017/9/22/16349966/north-korea-trump-dotard. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.
“Dotard.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, www.dictionary.com/browse/dotard. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.
“Economy of North Korea.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_North_Korea. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.
Griffiths, James, and Angela Dewan. “What is a hydrogen bomb and can North Korea deliver one?” CNN, Cable News Network, 22 Sept. 2017, www.cnn.com/2017/09/03/asia/hydrogen-bomb-north-korea-explainer/index.html. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.
Ramzy, Austin. “Kim Jong-Un Called Trump a ‘Dotard.’ What Does That Even Mean?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 22 Sept. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/world/asia/trump-north-korea-dotard.html. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.
Rubin, Michael, et al. “Why Is North Korea So Poor?” Commentary Magazine, 24 June 2015, www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/asia/why-is-north-korea-so-poor-communism/. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.
Styles, Ruth. “The images Kim Jong Un doesn't want you to see.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 9 May 2014, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2624164/North-Korea-Starving-people-child-labourers-dilapidated-homes-appear-harrowing-new-images-taken-inside-rogue-state.html. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.

45 comments:

  1. Though I agree that the back and forth insults between the two very powerful leaders are not "good," the fight with North Korea has provoked bigger problems than KJU and Trump spitting out words to each other over social media. I don't believe that these threats are very triggering, because with all leaders, negativity doesn't serve as a breaking point for quitting your job. Yes, mocking another leader may not be the most mature thing to do, especially when the countries already have some beef to begin with. But the belief that a few words over Twitter has an impact on the way a country runs is a huge misunderstanding.

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  2. Your post was really well written and explained quite a bit with lots of links and images. Very well done. Now, about the whole Trump needing to calm down on the threats, I agree with that. Trump should focus more on how to stop North Korea from launching the nuclear weaponry, and less on threatening to attack North Korea, provoking Kim, possibly pushing the US closer and closer to being hit by Kim's nuclear weapons. North Korea is advancing faster than, I think, anyone could believe possible with so many restrictions and money problems. Things could escalate to a deadly scale if Trump continues on the path he seems to be heading on. I’m just hoping Kim isn’t that sensitive that he’ll nuke the US over simple insults.

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  3. We have always had a conflict with North Korea but as you stated, it has escalated severely. Starting from the insults to now starting threats that could potentially effect our country majorly. Trump should definitely be thinking about his impact that he is going to cause if he isn't careful with his words and actions. The opportunity cost of Trump insulting Kim Jong Un is that he is losing respect of his country and may initiate a war between both of these countries. I think that Kim Jong Un and his country are spending way too much time and money on this nuclear bomb and less on their country's resources and well-being. Overall both countries are worsening themselves but especially North Korea because their economy will weaken if all they focus on is war materials.

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  4. I definitely do not think Trump should be mocking/antagonizing Kim Jong Un. As the man with the most power in our country and a public figure, it makes our country as well as himself look bad. As a role model, the children of our country will look up to him. Another reason why he should not antagonize Kim is because Kim is also another man with power, who puts all of his country's money into the military and creating nuclear missiles. It is smart of the US to put economic sanctions on North Korea, but they will never listen. North Korea is a threat to our country, and Trump will only make it worse if he continues to do what he is doing. I think it is interesting though how much poverty this country is in, and this is because of the nation's GDP 22% is poured into the military. Wow. This was a greatly written article and tought me a lot!!

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  5. Eric, your writing was very informative and to the point. Personally I have to agree with your idea of Trump, the provoking insults are unnecessary and if I must say...unprofessional. There is no right to be joking about war between the two countries. When I browsed through the extra pictures of North Korea I was shocked at the poverty and low quality of life. Even researching their economic freedom, they have the worst in the world at 4.9 compared to the highest of 88. This is no laughing matter and there is no reason to joke about the people who suffer in North Korea. It was a very well-written and argumentative essay, thank you for giving your opinion!

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  6. I agree that Trump should not mock Kim for his absurd economic decisions. Since he has the guts to starve his people and spend all of the country's money on nukes and missiles, then he would have no hesitation to nuke a country that is making fun of him. Trump and the United States should keep their comments to themselves. The United States should keep the country out of North Korea's business, until it actually becomes a legitimate problem. North Korea hasn't killed anyone yet, but they are scaring the people of Japan by testing missiles over the island.

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  7. I think you bring up some very good points in this writing, and although I agree with most of them, they are talked about a little too lightheartedly. Although this may be the case, you aren't the one provoking it. When we have a president who makes fun of the situation and refers to serious issues in very immature ways it is so much more likely that we, the people, will follow in his steps (even though he is so clearly wrong). How are we going to overcome this life threatening issue when all our countries leader does is provoke Kim to destroy our entire country?? Just a thought....
    As a group of people (youth) we have basically no say in what happens in our country so it is very easy to make fun of the situation, but who would expect us to stop when our leaders are the ones enforcing it? Yep, likely it wouldn't be anyone.

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  8. I agree that they will most likely not attack the U.S. they have been threatening and talking about doing something to us for a long time and still haven’t, but why are they spending so much time and money to grow and expand their military? I feel like if they get to a point where they feel their military is more powerful than others they actually will attack the U.S. or other countries. That is why Trump should watch what he says and does because you never know what they will do.

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  9. I would agree with not mocking every decision that North Korea makes. One just never really knows what little comment or what little tweet would send him over the edge. I personally think that it is easy to say that North Korea will only make threats like they have been doing for the last couple of years, but it is the fact that they have had successful nuclear tests that should tell people that they could send a bomb. Why would "Rocketman" put that much money into their nuclear program when he knows his people are starving, and proceed to not use what is being produced by that money. If he is willing to sacrifice the people of his country to fund his nuclear program he is most likely willing to send off a nuclear weapon at another country. I personally believe that while it is not likely that they will send off a nuclear missile at the United States, for reasons stated in the paper, I think that it is likely that they will send off a nuclear missile at another country sometime in the future.

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  10. It's kind of embarrassing that the end of the world might come because two guys with egos 100 times bigger than their heads want to put their name on something historic. The only goal of the government in North Korea is to start nuclear war and this guy's first response is to egg on the leader that is out of his mind enough to starve and brainwash everyone in his country. It is dangerous to condone both of the leaders' behaviors in this matter.

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  11. The US Vs. North Korea has been a elongated feud for years, there have always been threats but never mockery like their is today. Not only do I think that it's annoying, but it's also an embarrassment to both our countries. Both Trump and Kim Jong Un need to see that their words and threats lead to consequences, whether it be between our countries conflicts our how other countries will treat our countries. Also, I find it so sad and disgusting that a country would put all money, funds and resources to build explosives that they may or may not shoot off. The poverty level in North Korea is sickening, their death rate is tragic and the way Kim Jong Un is treating his people is disrespectful.

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  12. Although it may be really hard for President Trump to not say anything, its best that he keeps his mouth shut. For example, This past weekend President finally opened up what he thought about the kneeling of the national anthem. It's okay for him to say that but it crosses the line when he says that the players should be fired for kneeling. Before Trump's comments only a few people were kneeling and after we now have like all the teams doing some kind of protest. So the point im trying to make is that its not smart to say any threats to North Korea because they could "protest" like the NFL

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  13. Donald Trump doesn't understand that while insulting the leaders of other countries he poses as a threat to them as well as all other countries in the whereabouts. I don't believe that North Korea would risk launching their nuclear bombs due to the great opportunity cost Kim Jong Un would suffer; He would no longer have any money(he has spend all of his countries worth in creating the nuclear bomb), He would no longer have the power that he holds against the United States(There would no longer be any fear of Kim Jong Un), Lastly, He would no longer have a country after the United State would respond by bombing North Korea. Trump understands that Kim Jong Un would not launch his nuclear bomb due to the major opportunity cost of North Korea. However, he is oblivious and shows more concern over showing his power than over finding a better and more peaceful solution.

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  14. Totally agree that we should not be provoking North Korea. With the amount of money being poured into the weapons budget, they are a serious threat and you should not mock anyone with a massive arsenal of missiles. Trump has already made tweets that can be viewed as declarations of war, so despite Congress not officially making a declaration, North Koreans are already gearing up.

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  15. Both of these men need to realize they are arguing like 2 years olds with threats!. Non of them are going to launch bombs at each other until one of them does it first. This does not look good on the United states part that are president is making childish comments on twitter. It shows that we have a immature leader for a president who provokes people. Because if the United states really gets bombed then what? How are we going to handle that if they a bomb 8 times stronger then the one used in WW2. Donald Trump really needs to sit down and think of tis instead of making impulse choices.

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  16. Provoking North Korea is maybe not the best thing to do but I believe he is trying to stand up for our allies that North Korea has been "screwing" with. Lets say you have friends and one friend is kind of saying bad comments here and there, at one point or another you're going to say something to them, even if that means you are now in the rathe of the argument.

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  17. I agree that provoking North Korea is not a smart decision as you stated, the country's priorities are not in the right place. North Korea is more than willing to bomb the U.S and has shown this by Kim Jong Un's continued efforts and focus on military. North Korea's military power is not something we should test by throwing out insults and engaging in a verbal war with an unstable dictator who has no boundaries when it comes to retaliation.

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  19. I totally agree that we should not be provoking Kim Jong Un. If North Korea is truly dedicating 22% of their GDP towards just nuclear efforts they are the wrong people to mess with. Instead of tweeting threats at North Korea, we should be focusing diplomatic efforts on how to talk Kim Jong Un down from starting a third world war. Jong Un obviously has little concern for the citizens of his own country, and initiating conflict with the United States may not be as farsighted as we hope.

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  20. I agree that provoking North Korea is not a good idea. However, not only does insulting North Korea create more potential for war, but it also worsens North Korea's economic situation and harms its citizens. As the potential for war increases, Kim Jong Un has greater and greater justification for spending more in his military budget, which as stated by the article, harms the people of North Korea.

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  21. In the first paragraph I think it is good that you asked questions, it really makes the reader think and stay engaged. Also you were highlighting the key terms throughout the text which was very beneficial.

    I do agree that we should not mess with north Korea because if they are actually using 22% of their GDP on nuclear weapons they are not someone to mess with because they will have a lot of fire power.

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  22. I also agree that we shouldn't be provoking North Korea. Their leader, Kim Jong Un, is insane. Trump does not realize that by insulting Kim he is insulting their entire culture as they literally look to Kim as a god. However, I do not believe that Kim would pull the trigger on us. The man may be insane, but he isn't suicidal. The main goal of his regime is to remain in power as long as possible. By pulling the trigger on the US it would all but end his regime, thus he would not accomplish anything by nuking us. For that reason I don't believe he would pull the trigger, but it doesn't mean our President should insult a man when you never know how he will respond.

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  23. Provoking Kim Jong Un is completely the wrong idea. They're both obviously in a not great state of mind and attacking each other like they are (not physically, obviously) could make Kim Jong Un put those nuclear weapons to a horrible use. I do think he would, because if he did our defenses would be weakened and it likely would take a long time (if ever) to recover and be able to fight back. Also, I was very surprised at the way he treats his country. Taking all his money and spending it on nuclear weapons? That's horrible. That is not how a country should be led. All those rules and the choices he's making...what a life for the people living there.

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  24. The fact that the name calling is even a problem is reflection of the embarrassment of our current leaders, and how they're unfit to lead the modern world. Is such professionalism that prohibits immature behavior like name calling no longer a necessity to be President. I don't think anything will come of it, but it's just our daily reminder that the President is reality star that loves the attention, and he's getting it on America's biggest stage.

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  25. I agree with what you're saying that Trump shouldn't be teasing North Korea. There are no benefits to his behavior and if he's willing to use 22% of their GDP towards nuclear weapons even when their poverty is so bad, Trump shouldn't be messing around with them. Kim Jong Un obviously doesn't care about the well being of his citizens so risking their life to go to war with the US doesn't seem as out of the question as we assume.

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  26. Surely there are actions that North Korea takes that are foolish, and make them look immature. However, our country has been far worse than them when making comments and decision making. By Trump making these statements to other country leaders it only makes the country look more stupid than it currently does. The world will take us as a joke and think we can be undermined leading to attempted attacks towards the US. Kim Jong Un is extreme but he has power. We must be delicate with how we handle the situation, definitely not make threats across Twitter instead of running a country.

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  27. I agree that provoking Kim is a really bad move on the part of president trump.There are to many lives at stake to be joking around with a country that claims it uses 22% of it's GDP on Nuclear devices.I think we should start taking this situation seriously rather than trump bashing him on twitter.

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  28. I agree that the insults and how Trump is handling North Koreas as threat is just making North Korea a bigger and bigger threat to the US, making the US the top target out of all the other countries. I believe this is somewhat like the Cold War, all talk, and maybe even a mutual agreement on not bombing one another just like Russia and the US had. There has been multiple threats and no action, so maybe North Korea is just trying to scare the US, but even though it might be like the Cold War where threats are tossed around, there could be something that really scares the other country, making them act quickly and impulsively, cause an actual bombing.

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  29. I definitely agree that Trump should be more careful with the situation. Obviously, Kim Jong Un is not making smart choice economically, either. Their isolation from the world prohibits them from high economic growth, which is likely also a factor of the poverty North Koreans face. I’m sure that full employment is also not stressed, unless it is employing people to help build and manage the nuclear weapons. Finally, North Korea is a command economy so the country’s people do not have much economic freedom, which could also be a reason for the country’s poverty. I’m guessing that the corruption of the government also leads to inequitable distribution of wealth, as well. I know this is one of the reasons Mexico’s citizens are poor, despite Mexico primarily having economic freedom. What do you think is that main reason for their poverty?

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  30. North Korea(NK) is a real threat to the US. If the US went to war with them and NK started to use their nuclear weapons it would be the first full out nuclear war and this will hurt both of the countries economy. Such as if a Nuke would hit the US any resources there wouldn't be able to be used it would destroy both countries natural resources. So if this war started because of name calling Trump should stop and think about what is better for the people.

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  31. Chances are, North Korea will do absolutely nothing about insults from the US. North Korea is painfully aware of the fact that if they were to make the first move they would be immediately eradicated. I say this because China, North Korea's only ally, has stated that they will remain neutral if North Korea made the first move. The recent missile launches have been sensationalized. North Korea has done test launches before (some even being over Japan similar to recent launches). The US benefits from these launches though as other countries ask for missile defense systems.

    China has made it even more clear to North Korea that they have no chance. North Korea has a chain of restaurants (based primarily in China) that create revenue and send it directly the North Korean government. China has been far more stringent with the workings of these restaurants, limiting North Korean profit. This clearly shows how even North Korea's closest ally is trying to nudge them in the right direction.

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  32. I agree that North Korea is a threat to the U.S. and everyone else in the world, because just one ICBM can do devastating damage, so Trump should not be provoking Kim. Getting hit by an ICBM anywhere that is rich in natural resources will drastically change the economy all over the world by effecting the trade of natural resource. Trump and everyone else should watch what they say to Kim because how knows what he may do in response.

    Ben N.

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  33. I definitely agree that the US should not provoking North Korea. With the country’s supposed entrance to the nuclear powers club, engaging in warfare would be immensely detrimental to countries all over the world, not just the US and North Korea. If a single hydrogen bomb were dropped on New York City, more than 3.5 million people would die. This is just a single hydrogen bomb, and if North Korea’s claims are true, and they have successfully made a single h-bomb, what prevents them from making another? A war of this magnitude would destroy not only the economy, but also lives across the US.

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  34. As North Korea is putting so much money and effort into nuclear weaponry, I agree that it is not a smart move for Trump to provoke Kim Jong Un. It's even worse that Trump was using a social media platform such as Twitter, where his comments are public for all to see. While it is unsure whether or not North Korea will follow through with their threats, the comments from Trump are certainly not helping the relationships between North Korea and the US.

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  35. I agree with your post! While I am unsure of whether or not Kim Jong Un will actually wage war or attack the US, Trunp's actions are still unjustified. To publicly provoke the North Korean leader, especially at a time of tension, was uncalled for. Instead of tweeting, Trump should be putting more effort into other important aspects of presidency, such as diplomacy or defense.

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  37. I am in complete agreement with the viewpoint you expressed in your post. The action of provoking an inexperienced and volatile leader on a social media platform is something that is bound to push the chance of any amelioration in relations between our two nations further into the realm of impossibility. The chance of any military intervention done by the US in the region would most likely have devastating effects on the economies of the nations in the region, in addition to the rest of the greater world, as two of the three biggest economies, Japan and China, lay in the region.

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  38. I have to agree with this topic even though I support Trump. Him mocking a country that is a major threat to our national security carries a high opportunity cost. Further sanctions on the country will just further their poverty and not help the expansion of democracy which is the ultimate goal. Trump should not mock just for concern of our national security.

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  39. After vigorously reading these articulate writings I have pondered my own inner thoughts and have come to the conclusion that, in the ever growing tensions of the world, the President of the United State of America, that is Donald Trump, should not carry his person in such a contentious manner, to that of "Rocket Man", for American lives are at stake, and if catastrophe were to occur, I'm sure his tongue would long for a day in which it had not spoken so vehemently.

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  40. I would like to see the long-term economic impacts of both the UN embargo and the US trading threats with North Korea. The Chinese are essentially the only (legal) trading partner with North Korea, so seeing the exports of their domestic products falter might give further rise to their illegal arms exports out of the country.

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  41. I agree with your claim. Trump's position as president is expected with high respect, but he is acting out of line provoking "Rocket Man" which could possibly cause harm on the US. What he should be focused on is establishing a more intimidating outcome, IF North Korea's leader flourishes the nuclear program and gains enough strength to attack the US, Trump's reputation will be severed and trust will be broken.

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