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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (The Associated Press/The Gazette)
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‘Whack job,’ is it? N. Korea fires back at Colorado’s Cory Gardner: ‘Human dirt’

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In a superheated international exchange that takes tit for tat to a whole new level — one that only could involve North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un — the nuke-minded communist country has pushed back at Colorado Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner for referring to Kim as a “whack job” in an interview the other day.

The rogue regime, as usual, isn’t mincing words.

In a statement last Friday attributed to a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman, the official Korean Central News Agency declared (via the United Press International):

“On May 3, some [expletive] by the name of Cory Gardner, who sits on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, perpetrated wicked blasphemy against our supreme dignity during an interview with NBC. … For a psychopath like the [expletive] Gardner, to hurl evil accusations at our highest dignity, is a serious provocation. … 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.”

Some of that verbiage isn’t all that far from the norm for North Korea, to be sure — but, accusing Gardner of a loss of “body hair”?

Gardner already has issued a follow-up response, reported today by Denver’s Channel 7:

“The United States is not going to sit idly by while Kim Jong Un tries to hold the world hostage with his illicit arsenal of mass destruction,” the senator said. “I’m going to continue to call on the President to fully enforce my legislation that will economically cripple the North Korean Regime, and if that gets this madman to send nonsensical insults at me so be it.”

We were hoping for something a little less policy-oriented and more pointed, so we followed up with Gardner’s office. However, Gardner Press Secretary Casey Contres told us the senator is sticking to the statement above for the time being.

As also noted in Channel 7’s report:

Gardner has been one of the most ardent voices in Congress in pressing the Kim regime in North Korea to stop its missile and nuclear programs, as well as its alleged human rights violations.

Gardner set off the latest back-and-forth in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last week, when he remarked: “I think most people agree that Kim Jong Un is a whack job.”

Meanwhile, the senator has tweeted these policy points on the topic — i.e., on North Korea; not its insults — in the past hour:

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