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Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:02 - Updated Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:02

Trump to Kim: My nuclear button is 'bigger and more powerful'

US President Donald Trump has boasted that his nuclear button is "much bigger" and "more powerful" than North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's.

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President of the United States, Donald Trump.

Photo: DON EMMERT

Mr Trump's tweet is the latest contribution to the increasingly personalised feud between the nuclear-armed leaders.

Mr Kim threatened earlier this week that his nuclear launch button was "always on my table".

Unsurprisingly, Mr Trump's unorthodox words sent social media into a frenzy.

It ended a quickfire day of tweeting by Mr Trump that included taking credit for a lack of plane crashes, announcing awards for "corrupt media", and threatening to pull aid from Palestinians who do not show "appreciation or respect".

Mr Trump's latest comment states the obvious: any US president has immediate access to the nuclear codes and the US has the world's biggest nuclear arsenal.

North Korea claims it has nuclear weapons and could strike the US, but while analysts agree that Pyongyang has nuclear weapons, it is not clear whether it has the technology to use them in anger.

And in contrast to the bickering on Twitter, there was good news on the Korean peninsula itself as the North reopened a telephone hotline to the South.

Just as President Trump's unorthodox Twitter habits have puzzled observers in the past, the tweet is again redefining what's considered a diplomatic or presidential tone.

Several argued that Twitter should not allow "calls for nuclear war" to be broadcast on its platform.

But Mr Trump's supporters have defended him, saying his comments were both factually accurate and showed American strength and resolve.

Much of the social media comment has focused on Mr Trump's apparent fixation with size.

During his presidential campaign, Mr Trump had a long-running spat with Marco Rubio over the size of his hands.

At the time, Mr Trump insisted: "He referred to my hands - 'if they are small, something else must be small'. I guarantee you there is no problem. I guarantee."

This connection was not missed by social media users.

So far, the only button on Mr Trump's desk the world knew about was one that orders a Diet Coke to be brought to his room.

At least that's what US media reported after seeing said button in action during interviews.

Mr Trump and Mr Kim have a colourful history of name-calling.

Earlier this year, the North Korean denounced the US president as a "dotard", while Mr Trump has developed the nickname of "Little Rocket Man" for Mr Kim.

bbc

Tags Disarmament  

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