Trump-Kim summit: 8 remarks by the two leaders that made talks look impossible
US President will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a historic summit at the Capella Hotel in Sentosa Island of Singapore on Tuesday, June 12.
The summit, the run-up to which saw a roller coaster ride with Trump cancelling it only to reinstate it later, is the first-ever between a North Korean leader and an American president.
The summit seemed unlikely even six months ago when the two countries engaged in a serious verbal confrontation, even threatening to nuke each other, sending shock waves across the world and making the Korean Peninsula an extremely volatile region.
It was only in March this year that Trump straightaway accepted a proposal from Kim via a top South Korean official to hold one-to-one talks. Kim has shown a considerable diplomatic opening since the beginning of 2018 and has visited China and South Korea in the run-up to the big summit with Trump.
To understand how bad it was between the US and North Korea and their respective leaders, here we take a look at the remarks Trump and Kim - bother mercurial leaders - made targeting each other on different occasions:
"Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself."
Trump said this in his aggressive maiden speech made at the UN General Assembly in September last year. He even threatened to completely destroy North Korea on that occasion. Things, however, changed after six months and today, he is on the verge of a historic summit with the "rocket man".
"It's not a mere threat but a reality that I have a nuclear button on the desk in my office."
Kim said this in his New Year speech 2018 as a counter-warning to the US if his regime was threatened.
"Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"
Trump made this sarcastic tweet on January 3, two days after Kim's warning with the nuclear button. The two leaders were hinting at mutual nuclear annihilation even two months before they decided to sit and talk.
"They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."
One of Trump's biggest warnings to North Korea, made in August 2017. Trump said this after reports emerged that Pyongyang created a miniaturised nuclear weapon which could be fitted inside its missiles.
North Korea was, however, undeterred by Trump's warning and its state media said hours after the American president's caution that Pyongyang was in the process of examining a plan to fire missiles at the US Pacific territory of Guam.
"I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!"
Trump said this in a tweet in November last year after being described as a "lunatic old man" in North Korea's state media.
"He's a mentally deranged dotard."
This was Kim's retaliation at Trump's threat from the UN podium. Subsequently, the two leaders' rivalry was being seen as one between the "rocket man" and the "deranged dotard"
"He's a rogue gangster fond of playing with fire."
September 2017 was perhaps the sourest month in the Trump-Kim relations. The above statement was made by Kim after the US president came up with his jingoist remarks at the UN General Assembly.
"A frightened dog barks louder."
This one-liner also featured in Kim's statement issued following Trump's threat of destroying North Korea.