Apparently, when it comes to nuclear buttons, size matters.
A day after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that he has a button ready to launch nuclear weapons installed in his desk, President Trump tweeted that he, too, has a nuclear button, “but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
Trump’s tweet was apparently in response to a speech Monday in which Kim said, “The United States should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table,” according to a translation by the Associated Press. Kim also claimed those weapons are capable of reaching the entire U.S. mainland.
There isn’t actually a “nuclear button” on Trump’s desk, AP reported. But the nuclear “football” follows the president everywhere he goes.
The exchange over nuclear buttons continues an ongoing war of words between the two leaders, as the world anxiously worries that the bombastic back-and-forth could quickly develop into military hostilities between two nations with nuclear armaments.
Trump has repeatedly referred to Kim as “Rocket Man” and “Little Rocket Man.” He has also called Kim a “sick puppy,” a “madman,” and “short and fat.” Kim has called Trump a “mentally deranged dotard.”
The Trump administration has imposed harsher sanctions on North Korea and pressured China to do more to help rein in Kim’s regime, but so far none of those efforts have succeeded it ending North Korea’s continued drive to become an established nuclear power.
In a tweet earlier Saturday, Trump said the sanctions were having an impact. He also seemed open to the idea of “Rocket Man” opening a dialogue with South Korea. “Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not – we will see!” Trump tweeted about Kim’s apparent willingness to talk.