CBS host Gayle King referred to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as the “President of North Korea” during a question Wednesday wondering if it was appropriate for President Donald Trump to call him “Rocket Man.”
Trump coined the term for North Korea’s young despot in a tweet over the weekend and called him by the phrase again during his speech Tuesday to the United Nations General Assembly.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 17, 2017
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley appeared on “CBS This Morning” to discuss the speech and North Korea’s illicit nuclear ambitions.
“Ambassador, did you know that the president was going to refer to Kim Jong Un, the President of North Korea, as Rocket Man, and if so, do you think that kind of language and that kind of mocking is helpful?” King asked. “But first, did you know he was going to use that terminology?”
Haley said she was aware that morning Trump would use that term in the speech.
“I will tell you, just to let you know what this does, I had a meeting with the President of Uganda the day before, and he was referring to Kim as Rocket Man, before the president even gave his speech,” Haley said.
Kim Jong Un is North Korea’s Supreme Leader and took over after the death of his dictator father, Kim Jong-il, in 2011. He has reportedly ordered the execution of family members to consolidate power, and, like his father, he presides with absolute authority and has an elaborate cult of personality.
His regime has been sanctioned for human rights abuses and for its continued pursuit of an expansive nuclear program.
Trump told the U.N. Tuesday that the U.S. would be forced to “destroy North Korea” if forced to defend itself or its allies.
“No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles,” Trump said. “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”
Trump’s statement raised eyebrows among some journalists.
President just threatened to 'totally destroy' another country and mocked its leader at UN. Just take a moment to reflect on that.
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) September 19, 2017
Omg. Trump just referred to Kim Jong Un as Rocket Man. in his UN speech.
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) September 19, 2017
UN speech was a lot of Trump tweets strung together. Saber-rattling. But no clear doctrine. Threats of confrontation around the world.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) September 19, 2017