The French public found a sinister sight on their newsstands on Thursday: The front cover of the left-leaning newspaper Libération, featured a photoshopped image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un superimposed on the face of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Kim Jong Un’s smiling “chubby face”—as it was once described in a scathing remark by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte—was clearly recognizable despite Trump’s trademark blond hairdo and flaming red tie.
The newspaper’s headline referred to a “special affinity” between the two leaders, making wordplay from the French expression atomes crochus, which means to have chemistry with someone but literally features the word atom, in reference to the escalating nuclear threats.
Bonjour ! Nous sommes le jeudi 10 août et voici la une du jour pic.twitter.com/GzQ19QxZoZ
— Libération (@libe) August 10, 2017
President Trump’s warning of meeting North Korea’s belligerent threats with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” sparked outrage across the political spectrum in the U.S., but also drew criticism in the foreign press.
Libération was not the only newspaper to satirize Trump’s comments. Also in France, the daily newspaper Le Monde featured a cartoon portraying the American president with missiles for teeth, threatening Kim Jong Un.
In Germany, the left-wing newspaper Die Tageszeitung featured a front cover reading“Punk is not dead,” the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion serving as the backdrop to Trump’s and Kim Jong Un’s faces. The idea played on the lyrics of “God Save the Queen,” the version by British punk band the Sex Pistols, featuring its refrain “No future,” in reference to the escalating rhetoric of total war.
In the U.K., the weekly New European newspaper dedicated its latest issue’s front cover to the standoff, depicting Trump and Kim Jong Un with missiles in place of their genitals, the headline reading “Weapons of mass distraction.”
— The New European (@TheNewEuropean) August 9, 2017
British daily newspaper The Times also featured a cartoon describing Trump’s threats to North Korea as a distraction from other issues negatively affecting his presidency, such as special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into the alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
— The Times of London (@thetimes) August 10, 2017
Since Trump’s strong words on Tuesday, North Korea has hit back with its own threats. On Thursday, state media reported a statement from the country’s head of strategic forces, who said that Trump was “bereft of reason” and that Pyongyang would be readyto demonstrate its capabilities by firing missiles at the U.S. base of Guam to land in the sea around the Pacific island by mid-August.
Sofia Lotto Persio