North Korea calls Trump 'warmonger, reckless old lunatic'

Donald Trump addresses the APEC CEO summit in Vietnam but his remarks on Russian intervention in the 2016 elections have made the headlines at home. AFP  Jim Watson

North Korea calls Trump 'warmonger, reckless old lunatic'

A spokesman for North Korea's foreign ministry published a lengthy and incendiary commentary, condemning Trump for a "warmonger's visit" with the goal of ending the nation's effort to create a "self-defensive" nuclear weapons program.

The speech came after Trump's attempt to make an unannounced visit to the heavily fortified border separating North and South Korea was aborted earlier on Wednesday when dense fog prevented his helicopter from landing, officials said.

In a statement issued through government mouthpiece the Korean Central News Agency, as cited by Reuters, Pyongyang said the U.S. President's trip "laid bare his true nature as destroyer of world peace".

Trump is in Vietnam as part of a almost two-week tour of Asia, and North Korea's nuclear weapons program has been a major talking point with his Japanese, South Korean and Chinese counterparts. "Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face".

Trump tried to travel to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) - the doorstep of the North Korean nuclear standoff - on the final day of a 24-hour visit to ally Seoul. "Dead stop. The flourishing ends, and the prison state of North Korea sadly begins".

In a speech to South Korea's Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Trump warned Pyongyang not to underestimate the United States, while offering leader Kim Jong Un a better future if he gives up his nuclear ambitions. Trump has in speeches and tweets taunted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as "rocket man". But this week, standing alongside South Korea's dovish president Moon Jae In at a press conference, Trump's belittling, hardline tone disappeared. Pyongyang described Trump's trip as "nothing but a business trip by a warmonger to enrich the monopolies of the U.S. defense industry". North Korea has conducted tests of ballistic missiles which Pyongyang claims could hit the USA mainland.

The harsh response from North Korea also comes during a period of relative quiet by Kim's regime following its most recent nuclear test in September.

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