President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Chairman Kim Jong Un have had an erratic relationship to say the least.
During the 2016 campaign, then-candidate Trump referred to Kim as "Little Rocket Man" and mocked his weight. During his presidency, however, Trump made multiple negotiations with the dictator, claiming to love him. Both leaders boasted a cease on missile testing in North Korea, though it wasn't actually carried out.
Now, the relationship has soured again. Kim threatened a potential long range missile test as a "Christmas gift" to the U.S.
Though that gift ultimately went undelivered, a Trump national security advisor isn't inspiring confidence with his assurance that the situation in North Korea is under control.
The reason? He doesn't seem to know how to address the North Korean leader.
In an interview with ABC's Jonathan Karl, National Security Advisor Timothy O'Brien said:
"[W]e always monitor the situation. And Chairman Un has said that there would be something over Christmas. I think the president has engaged in personal diplomacy at a very high level with him over the years. And they have a good relationship personally."
Trump's national security adviser apparently doesn't know that Kim Jong Un's family name is Kim.... https://t.co/ePpTvppj3o— Anna Fifield (@Anna Fifield)1577668844.0
While the average American may think that Kim Jong Un's name follows a western format, in which the surname is 'Un,' the chairman's family name is actually "Kim"—something a national security advisor for the President should probably know.
O'Brien later referred to Kim as "Chairman Kim" one time during the interview, but people couldn't help but laugh at the botched address of a foreign leader by a national security advisor.
This would be as funny as the time Sen. Jesse Helms referred to Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, as “Kim Jong the Second”… https://t.co/mxc25Qj4mm— George Conway (@George Conway)1577719068.0
@gtconway3d @realDonaldTrump Chairman Un will send another letter to President Duh— President “I Caught the Swamp, I Caught Them All” (@President “I Caught the Swamp, I Caught Them All”)1577719266.0
The ignorance blows my mind. "Chairman Un" has never felt as smart as he does after dealing with these geniuses 😂😂😂 https://t.co/deShdpAJTz— Leonbergers (@Leonbergers)1577720062.0
In pre-Trump, America a clerk/secretary who sent out correspondence or spoke publicly referred to Chairman Kim as C… https://t.co/nS90wCunoQ— RESIST 45* (@RESIST 45*)1577679995.0
“Chairman Un.” Maybe it should be a prerequisite for the President’s senior national security adviser to ... you k… https://t.co/KZ2NSp3oTh— Steve Vladeck (@Steve Vladeck)1577717557.0
Sometimes I wonder if the US foreign policy leadership can really be as bad as I fear. And then I see the National… https://t.co/qgxvaNHO9x— Mitch Lerner (@Mitch Lerner)1577684440.0
maybe he's decided if it's going to be "Mayor Pete" then now it's "Chairman Un" 😂🙊 https://t.co/CASLf6ZE1a— Kevin (@Kevin)1577671403.0
As the delicate negotiations with North Korea continue, O'Brien will hopefully study up more on how the leader demands to be addressed.