STR/AFP/Getty Images

Kim Jong Un's "Dotard Trump" Jokes Aren't Funny — They're Majorly Concerning

By
Share
Ad failed to load

In his first address to the United Nations Tuesday, President Donald Trump took aim at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, calling him "rocket man," according to The Guardian, and vowed that he would "totally destroy" the country if Kim does not back down from his nuclear threats. On Thursday, Kim responded with a message of his own, during which he hurled plenty of insults Trump's way, and some of those insults are now earning praise — or, at least a giggle — on social media. But let's be clear: jokes about Kim Jong Un insulting Donald Trump really aren't funny. Although there is definitely something entertaining about seeing these men hurl childish barbs at one another, the fact is that they are both world leaders with access to nuclear weapons. And the only thing their back-and-forth exchange should really be doing is making the rest of the world feel incredibly unsettled.

Kim responded to Trump's comments in an official address Thursday, according to NBC News, in which the North Korean dictator uncharacteristically addressed the world directly and spoke in the first person. And it seemed clear that he was totally intending to rile up the easily-triggered POTUS. Kim said, according to NBC's translation:

Far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors. A frightened dog barks louder.
Ad failed to load

He also notably used the term "dotard" — defined by The Oxford English Dictionary as "an old person, especially one who has become weak or senile" — twice to describe Trump during his speech. According to BBC News, Kim said, "Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say." At the end of his speech he reiterated the insult, and said "I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire."

On social media, Kim's comments led to a surge of interest in the little-used word, and to many, it felt like the perfect burn for a POTUS who seems to really not like it when anyone attempts to make fun of him:

Ad failed to load
Ad failed to load

But as much as the name-calling might be seem like good fodder for a funny meme or tweet, there are many reasons why it's actually incredibly problematic.

For one, well, Kim has a pretty well-known history of launching racist, sexist and cruel insults at anyone he doesn't actually like. According to BBC News, Kim once referred to President Barack Obama as a "wicked black monkey," and has said that Hillary Clinton dressed like a "primary schoolgirl," and "a pensioner gone shopping." As for former South Korean President Park Geun-hye? Her Pyongyang nickname was, essentially, "the bitch." And while "dotard" may sound like a funny burn for Trump, its connotation is highly ableist: according to The New York Times, the Korean word Kim actually used was “neukdari,” which is "a common derogatory term for an old person," and suggests someone who is "lazy, useless and demented."

Ad failed to load

Unsurprisingly, it wasn't a remark that Trump was going to let slide, and on Friday morning, according to NBC News, Trump tweeted a response to Kim's comments, calling him a "madman" and promising that he would be "tested like never before."

And that is why this is all about way more than crude insults on the world stage — and why anyone who finds it funny that Kim called Trump a dotard really needs to think a little bit more "big picture" about all of this. Yes, it's kind of satisfying when anyone serves up a burn Trump's way. And it's also strangely entertaining to watch how easy it seems to be to push Trump's buttons. But we're not just talking about Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un throwing shade at one another. We are witnessing the President of the United States and the leader of North Korea escalating a situation that literally involves nuclear weapons. Their intensifying feud could have absolutely devastating consequences.

Ad failed to load

The good news though, at least, is that, along with his rocket man comment, Trump also issued a new executive order meant to strengthen economic sanctions against North Korea. According to The Telegraph, Trump's order would essentially mean that the United States would no longer do business with any countries also doing business with North Korea, which could have a huge impact on North Korea's already-limited trade economy. And, most notably, Trump said that China's central bank has actually ordered the country's banks to end their trade ties with Pyongyang, in what will likely be a crippling blow to Kim's regime.

Ad failed to load

Since well before he was elected, Trump was heavily criticized for his easy-to-anger, fly-off-the-handle demeanor — and in April 2016, Hillary Clinton famously argued that "A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons." Now that man is in charge of nuclear weapons, even though he's still being baited by tweets and TV shows and North Korean dictators.

As president, Trump now has to carry the immense burden of doing whatever he can do avoid nuclear war, despite ongoing threats by Kim Jong Un, and that will require as much of a clear head as possible. So while there are plenty of things to dislike about Trump and his infuriating policies, and plenty of things to make fun of him for, Kim's Trump burn still shouldn't be worthy of applause. In fact, when it comes to the United States and North Korea, nothing short of actual deescalation should really be considered a win.

Ad failed to load

Watch Romper's new video series, Romper's DoulaDiaries:

Ad failed to load

Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}