Never one to mince his words, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte made Kim Jong Un his latest target Wednesday, roasting the North Korean leader as “chubby” and “a son of a bitch.”
Duterte made the comments just days before his government is due to host the foreign ministers of 27 countries, including North Korea, at an Association of South East Asian Nations regional forum at which Pyongyang’s missile tests are sure to feature prominently in discussions.
“This Kim Jong Un… he is playing with dangerous toys, that fool,” Duterte told a meeting of tax officials Wednesday. “That chubby face that looks kind. That son of a bitch. If he commits a mistake, the Far East will become an arid land. It must be stopped, this nuclear war.”
North Korea’s rapid pursuit of a long-range nuclear-equipped missile capable of striking the United States has been a major source of international tension following a string of recent missile tests.
Since coming to power over a year ago, Duterte has developed a reputation as one of the world’s most colourful leaders, known for his frequent controversial comments and coarse language – not to mention his bloody crackdown on drug dealers that has reportedly resulted in thousands of extrajudicial killings.
In being publicly insulted by Duterte, Kim joins an illustrious group of world figures that includes former President Barack Obama and Pope Francis. Duterte has referred to both men using his favorite insult – “son of a whore” – a remark that prompted Obama to cancel a planned meeting with Duterte last year.
Duterte’s disdain for Kim shouldn’t come as a surprise; in a phone call with Donald Trump in April, Duterte reportedly called the North Korean leader a “madman.”
“Every generation has a madman; in our generation (it) is Kim Jong Un,” he told Trump.