WHOSE BUTTON IS BIGGER?
Kim used his annual New Year address to warn he has a "nuclear button" on his table, sweetening his remarks by expressing an interest in dialogue.
Trump jumped on his favored medium of Twitter in response: "North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' 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!"
The North's official party newspaper dismissed Trump's "swaggering" as nothing but the "spasm of a lunatic" frightened by North Korea's power, and the "bark of a rabid dog.”
'ROCKET MAN' VERSUS 'US DOTARD'
In his debut speech at the United Nations in September, Trump dubbed Kim a "rocket man" on a "suicide mission." "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea," he said.
Kim retorted with his own tongue-lashing, vowing to "surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire," in an address read out on state television by a star news anchor before a still image of Kim at his desk. "A frightened dog barks louder," Kim said of Trump.
On the heels of an intercontinental ballistic missile test from Pyongyang in November, Trump derided Kim as a "sick puppy," drawing cheers from a crowd of supporters at a campaign style rally. A few weeks later, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) warned while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize that the bellicose rhetoric could trigger nuclear war.
'A MADMAN WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS'
"We can't let a madman with nuclear weapons let on the loose like that," Trump told Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte during an April phone call. "We have a lot of firepower, more than he has, times 20 -- but we don't want to use it."
But in an interview that aired April 30, he called Kim "a pretty smart cookie" -- expressing admiration that the North Korean strongman "was able to assume power" at a young age.
'HONORED' TO MEET KIM
"If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it," Trump said of Kim in May. And now, Trump has formally agreed to a first face-to-face meeting with Kim.