People gather at a street-side newsstand showing a copy of North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper. Photo: AFP

A report by UPI says that North Korea is using a softer touch in referring to US President Donald Trump in official statements, only a few months after branding Trump a “dotard” and hurling other epithets in a war of words that followed Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test in September.

“In a sign the Kim Jong-un’s regime is recognizing Trump’s agreement to a summit with the North Korean leader, Korean Workers’ Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun replaced derogatory terms, like ‘madman,’ with ‘American ruler’ in an article published Tuesday that criticized US tariffs against imported steel and aluminum,” United Press International said in a Wednesday story.

Earlier North Korean statements have also relished calling Trump a “lunatic,” according to UPI.

South Korean newspaper JoongAng Daily pointed out on Wednesday that North Korea had referred to Trump as the US or American ruler in the past.

But the Seoul-based publication says Rodong’s effort to nix insulting Trump in its latest blast at US trade policy marked a significant shift in language.

North Korea has not responded publicly on Trump’s decision to meet with Kim “by May” at a yet-to-be-disclosed location.

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