In another life, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s propaganda chief could have had a heck of a career as an insult comic.
The latest screed from Pyongyang’s unnamed prince of prose (or princes -- it's unclear how many write these gems) was delivered Monday in response to Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., asserting Kim Jong Un was a “whack job.”
Like previous statements, it bucked all norms for engaging in international repartee:
“It is a serious provocation that Gardner, like a psychopath, dare to bear the evil that dares our highest dignity,” the statement said, according to a translation. “It is America’s misfortune that a man mixed in with human dirt like Gardner, who has lost basic judgment and body hair, could only spell misfortune for the United States.”
The real-world reference point behind some of the putdowns, most of which are disseminated by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, is unclear. Gardner, for instance, has a full head of hair.
But KCNA has been dealing out hits against U.S. and international politicians for years, perfecting a style that’s veered from jaw-dropping to shockingly racist.
Among the worst insults directed at former President Barack Obama, North Korea in 2014 branded him a “juvenile delinquent,” “clown” and a “dirty fellow.” Obama, the KCNA statement said, was somebody who “does not even have the basic appearances of a human being.”
Earlier that year, an unidentified North Korean spokesperson called ex-Secretary of State John Kerry a “wolf donning the mask of sheep” who had a “hideous lantern jaw.”
Kerry’s predecessor, Hillary Clinton, was described in 2009 as “by no means intelligent” and a “funny lady.”
“Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping,” an unnamed North Korean source said.
The reclusive regime has also made former South Korean President Park Geun-hye a popular target, alternately naming her as a “senile granny,” a “tailless, old, insane b----,” and “a traitor for all times.”
On the last description, North Korea may have scored a late victory. Geun-hye was forced out of office amid an influence-peddling scandal.
Kim Jong Un’s staff was no easier on former President George W. Bush’s administration: Bush was called a “hooligan” who looked like “a chicken soaked in the rain,” Vice President Dick Cheney was “mentally deranged” and a “most cruel monster and bloody-thirsty beast” and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was termed a “political dwarf, human scum or hysteric.”