I was reading this news story about North Korea getting ready to use its nuclear weapons “at any time” and did a double take when I came across this description of South Korea’s president Park Geun-hye: “An ugly bat” living in a “dingy cave”. Wait a minute, I wondered, what’s Donald Trump doing in Pyongyang? More specifically, what’s the Republican Party front-runner doing inNorth Korea’s official media? They don’t need his foul mouth and vulgarity. They’re perfectly capable of swearing mightily themselves.
Consider this brilliant burst of ill will from the Korean Central News Agency, which is the main news provider in those parts. Back in December 2013, it reported the execution of Jang Song Taek, uncle of Kim Jong-un and once thought to have been the second-most powerful man in North Korea, as follows.
He was described as “worse than a dog, a traitor to the nation for all ages”. His “unpardonable thrice-cursed treason” had the people “hungering for justice”. The man, of course, was “despicable human scum”.
From North Korea, this is par for the course.
From Americans who want to be president not so much.
But The Donald has turned the 2016 US presidential election into a reality show full of foul language, fruity expressions and vulgarity of every sort.
He has turned the debates into the sort of stuff we wouldn’t want young children hearing.
Does this sound presidential (or even polite):
I will “bomb the shit” out of ISIL.
Last month, Mr Trump echoed a supporter who called his Republican rival Ted Cruz a “pussy.”
On March 3, the 11th debate among the Republican candidates, he made reference to the fact that his hands were small but that had no correlation to another key part of a man’s anatomy.
He has repeatedly called opponents and critics, “liar” and “choke artist”. He insults and bullies and harries and swears his way through the campaign.
The use of language is very revealing.
In North Korea, as Korea expert James Grayson at the University of Sheffield, says the propensity to strong language is a psychological ploy. He writes that the Korean Central News Agency’s strongly worded insults and heaping curses have a distinct purpose. In the case of the unfortunate Jang, Kim Jong-un’s uncle,
“because this person was powerful and he has to be made to be the embodiment of all that is evil.”
The same presumably for South Korea’s president Park Geun-hye. To describe her as an “ugly bat” with a “dingy cave” for a dwelling makes her seem weaker.
Donald Trump’s clearly got a problem. (And competition in the swearing stakes.)