Trump jokes about 'deplorable' North Korea

Olivier Knox
Chief Washington Correspondent

President Trump said Thursday that the United States will impose fresh sanctions on North Korea, and he joked with his South Korean counterpart about the “deplorable” regime in Pyongyang — a throwback to Hillary Clinton’s description of some of his supporters in 2016.

After South Korean President Moon Jae-in called North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs “extremely deplorable,” Trump cracked a smile and told reporters he had nothing to do with his counterpart’s word choice.

“I’m happy you used the world ‘deplorable,’” Trump told Moon, to laughter from other U.S. officials in the room. “That’s been a very lucky word for me and many millions of people.”

President Trump meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-in during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Sept. 21, 2017. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

During the 2016 campaign, Clinton said that half of her rival’s supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables,” people who were “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.”

Earlier Thursday, Trump told reporters during a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani: “We will be putting more sanctions on North Korea.” He did not specify what sorts of punitive measures he would impose, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley were to brief reporters later in the day.

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