A chicken soaked in the rain

Published 8:31 pm Monday, July 27, 2009

Last week wasn’t a very good week for talks of North Korean disarmament, but it sure provided plenty of fodder for people who like to read a good insult every now and then.

However, a few good laughs came at the cost of nuclear talks with the North Koreans, because the country made it clear it will no longer listen to other nations’ efforts to convince it to give up its nuclear program.

Our own U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, apparently started the insult-trading with North Korean leadership by comparing them to “small children and unruly teenagers and people who are demanding attention,” according to a CNN story.

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A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman fired back from a meeting of Southeast Asian nations in Thailand, saying Clinton has unleashed a “spate of vulgar remarks unbecoming for her position everywhere she went since she was sworn in,” according to North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency, via CNN.

The CNN article goes on to say that the spokesman called Clinton “by no means intelligent” and a “funny lady.”

The North Korean statement topped it off with this statement about Clinton: “Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping.”

Aside from undoubtedly leaving thousands mystified about how a 61-year-old woman can appear either 6 or 76 years old, depending on the situation, the exchange is somewhat embarrassing for the United States.

To think that Hillary Clinton, our top diplomat aside from the president, started this entire first-grade playground dirt-kicking match by equating North Korean adults with children and teenagers is humiliating, to say the least. One would think she would at least get a talking-to from her boss about not angering the North Koreans, particularly in light of the fact that they are aiming their missiles at our shores even as we speak.

A list compiled by CNN shows North Korean officials and state-run media delight in colorful insults against world leaders, Western and Eastern alike. The sampling includes the following insults against former U.S. President George W. Bush, many of them arguable but puerile nonetheless:

“A hooligan bereft of any personality as a human being”

“A half-baked man in terms of morality”

“A chicken soaked in the rain”

And these against former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney:

“Hated as the most cruel monster and blood-thirsty beast as he has drenched various parts of the world in blood”

“A mentally deranged person steeped in the inveterate enmity toward the system”

And even these against fellow Eastern hemisphere leaders:

“A vegetable assembly” and “modern-brand Nazi party” (about the Grand National Party of South Korea)

“Nothing but a political charlatan who does not know where to stand, a mere puppet and a guy with a poor knowledge of history” (about Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso)

It sounds like pretty much everyone is better off not messing with the North Koreans. However, if verbal insults are the only thing they hurl across the high seas, I think we’ll all thank our lucky stars.