North Korea calls Biden ‘fool of low IQ’ over Kim Jong Un criticism

Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has descibed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a tyrant during a recent speech. (AP)
Updated 22 May 2019
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North Korea calls Biden ‘fool of low IQ’ over Kim Jong Un criticism

  • US presidential hopeful called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a tyrant during a recent speech
  • Pyongyang said former American vice president had insulted the country’s supreme leadership

SEOUL: North Korea has labeled Joe Biden a “fool of low IQ” and an “imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being” after the US presidential hopeful called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a tyrant during a recent speech.
Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday said the former American vice president had insulted the country’s supreme leadership and committed an “intolerable and serious politically-motivated provocation” against the North.
Biden during a campaign launch in Philadelphia on Saturday accused President Donald Trump of cozying up to “dictators and tyrants” like Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“What he uttered is just sophism of an imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being, let alone a politician,” KCNA said.
It added: “There is nonstop comment over his bid for candidacy that he is not worth pinning hope on, backed by the jeer that he is a fool of low IQ,” KCNA said.
“Yet, he is self-praising himself as being the most popular presidential candidate. This is enough to make a cat laugh,” the report said.
There was no immediate reaction from the Biden camp, possibly due to the late hour in the United States.
North Korea has often unleashed crude insults against US and South Korean politicians in past years to criticize what its saw as insults to its leadership or hostile diplomatic and military policies against Pyongyang. The insults have included racist and sexist diatribes, including when the North called former President Barack Obama “a monkey” and former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, the country’s first female leader, a prostitute.
During tensions created by a provocative run in missile tests in 2017, Kim called Trump a “mentally deranged US dotard” after said that the United States would “totally destroy North Korea” if forced to defend itself or its allies.
The North’s description of Trump dramatically improved after Kim initiated diplomacy with Washington and Seoul in 2018 while attempting to leverage his nuclear arsenal for economic and security benefits. The nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang broke down in February when a summit between Kim and Trump collapsed over mismatched demands in sanctions relief and disarmament.


Thai police order for intel on Muslim students sparks outrage

Updated 32 min 31 sec ago

Thai police order for intel on Muslim students sparks outrage

  • Rights groups have long accused the state of heavy-handed sweeps of the Malay-Muslim population
  • Muslims make up Thailand’s second largest religious group, with the majority residing in its three southernmost states

BANGKOK: A Thai Muslim student group Wednesday called for police to drop an order requesting universities to provide “intelligence” on Muslim students and their activities in the Buddhist-majority state.
Muslims make up Thailand’s second largest religious group, with the majority residing in its three southernmost states, which since 2004 have been in the grip of a conflict between Malay-Muslim separatist rebels and Thai authorities.
Rights groups have long accused the state of heavy-handed sweeps of the majority Malay-Muslim population in that region — which is under martial law.
Last week the Special Branch Bureau issued a nationwide order to universities to provide “intelligence” on Muslim students and their activities in school, police spokesman Krissana Pattanacharoen told AFP Tuesday, citing “security” concerns.
The news sparked immediate outrage from the community, and the Muslim Students Federation of Thailand on Wednesday called for parliament to “cancel” the request.
The Special Branch’s order “is also a form of discrimination that breaches the constitution,” president Ashraf Awae said, speaking outside parliament.
Such “groundless accusations... could create divisions among the Muslim students and others in the university and society,” he said.
He added the federation had already heard of police requesting information on Muslim student groups from at least three major universities.
Junta chief-turned-prime minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha on Tuesday defended the Special Branch, and denied creating a “database” would be a violation of people’s rights.
“We can’t arrest anyone if they don’t do anything wrong,” he told reporters.
Prayut’s backing shows an “alarming trend of growing Islamophobia in Thailand,” said Human Rights Watch’s Sunai Phasuk.
“This is state-sanctioned discrimination,” he told AFP, adding that the Thai constitution explicitly prohibits discrimination toward different religions and ethnic groups.
“It could feed into radicalization of Muslims in the deep south and worsen the conflict,” Sunai said.
The ex-general had masterminded a coup in 2014, leading a five-year junta regime before elections in March formally installed him as a civilian premier thanks to a new constitution tilted to the military.
Under Prayut’s tenure as junta head, police had rounded up at least 50 Thai Muslims, mostly university students, in a dragnet operation in October 2016 that authorities justified was necessary to stop a suspected car bomb plot.