Beyond the World news headlines
Half-baked men, hooligans and other insults from North Korea
The end of the Bush administration will likely bring an end to one of my favourite guilty pleasures of reporting on North Korea, which is the verbal battle between Washington and Pyongyang. Prickly North Korea will undoubtedly fire rhetorical volleys at Barack Obama’s team but it may be hard to match the vitriolic language it has levelled at the administration of outgoing President George W. Bush, which in North Korean parlance is “a bunch of tricksters and political imbeciles who are the center of a plot breeding fraud and swindle”.
The Bush administration came into office pledging to take a tough line toward Pyongyang to force it to end its nuclear weapons programme, stop threatening its neighbours with ballistic missiles and halt human rights abuses that are regarded as some of the worst in the world. North Korea bristles at any criticism of its leaders or its communist system. It unleashed its first insults directed at Bush weeks into his presidency in 2001, after his team labelled the North a dangerous state.
In 2002, Bush bracketed the communist state of Kim Jong-il with Iran and pre-war Iraq as being part of an axis of evil. Later that year, according to Newsweek magazine, Bush astonished a meeting of Republican senators by launching a vivid personal attack on the North Korean leader. Newsweek quoted Bush as saying: “He’s starving his own people, and imprisoning intellectuals in a Gulag the size of Houston.” It said the president had called Kim a “pygmy” and compared him to a “spoiled child at a dinner table”.
The North shot back and called the United States an “empire of evil”. U.S. officials then called the North “an outpost of tyranny” and “a criminal state”.
North Korea did not fire off any insults specifically directed at Christopher Hill, the main Bush point man for nuclear negotiations. Pyongyang can show restraint when it feels it is being treated as a serious country.
A list of top insults the North has directed at the Bush team will follow. It seems the last insult hurled at Bush came a few weeks ago. This was after an Iraqi reporter threw his shoes at Bush at a news conference in Baghdad. http://www.reuters.com/article/mediaNews/idUSLF8894820081215. The North’s cabinet newspaper said in an article that Bush looked like “a chicken soaked in the rain” at the lectern.
But anyway, here it is — a list (in no particular order) of some of the North’s greatest verbal swipes at the Bush team. And for anyone who wants to experience the fiery language of the North’s propaganda machine, I would recommend the “random insult generator” of this web site http://www.nk-news.net/index.php.
North Korean insults of Bush:
1/ Bush is a hooligan bereft of any personality as a human being, to say nothing of stature as president of a country.
2/ He is a half-baked man in terms of morality and a philistine.
3/ No one can expect to hear reasonable words from Bush, once a cowboy at a ranch in Texas.
4/ His remarks often stun audience as they reveal his utter ignorance.
5/ Bush is an incompetent and rude president who is senseless and ignorant.
6/ He does not know even elementary diplomatic etiquette and lacks diplomatic ability.
North Korean insults of Vice President Dick Cheney:
7/ Cheney is hated as the most cruel monster and blood-thirsty beast.
8/ He has drenched various parts of the world in blood.
9/ Cheney is a mentally deranged person steeped in the inveterate enmity towards the system in the DPRK (North Korea).
North Korean insults of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:
10/ Rice is bereft of any political logic.