- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 12, 2017

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Sunday said President Trump was “responding the way he does to somebody who insulted him first” when he slammed North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s appearance on Twitter.

But Ms. Conway added that it mattered little in the context of the president’s “incredibly successful” tour of Asia.

Mr. Trump repeatedly has warned North Korea’s leader to cease his nuclear build-up. In Japan, he said “no dictator” should underestimate America’s military power and determination.

North Korea weeks ago responded by calling Mr. Trump a “dotard,” a rarely used insult that refers to an older person who is weak or senile.

Mr. Trump didn’t let it slide.

“Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him short and fat?’” he tweeted late Saturday. “Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend — and maybe someday that will happen!”

Mr. Trump’s critics are worried that missives like those will escalate an already fraught situation in the Pacific.

“How is that helpful?” ABC News’ “This Week” host Martha Raddatz asked Ms. Conway, referring to the latest tweet.

“What’s helpful, in full context, is a 13-day trip where the president is very focused on global security and combating terrorism, and most importantly containing a nuclearized North Korea,” Ms. Conway said.

North Korea is everyone’s business,” she added. “This man has been on the job for nine or ten months. We inherited a mess, including a nuclearized North Korea, including the Iran deal, including many hot spots around the globe that he is trying, when he’s here at his desk and when he’s abroad on these trips. He’s trying to make better on behalf of everyone.”

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