North Korea’s foreign minister has said that President Donald Trump had declared war on North Korea and that Pyongyang reserved the right to take countermeasures against US threats, including shooting down U.S. bombers even if they are not in its air space.
Ri Yong-ho told reporters that Donald Trump’s tweet on Saturday warning that leader Kim Jong-un and the minister “won’t be around much longer”, was a declaration of war by the United States.
Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
Ri said: “The whole world should clearly remember it was the US who first declared war on our country,”adding “Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied that the US has declared war: “We have not declared war on North Korea and the suggestion of that is absurd,” she said. Trump has however threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary.
Press TV reports:
Trump, who had formerly threatened Pyongyang with “fire and the fury like the world has never seen,” renewed the threat at the UN, saying, “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”
He called North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, a “rocket man” who is “on a suicide mission.”
Kim responded to Trump’s UN remarks by saying that he “will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.”
Kim: ‘Deranged’ Trump will ‘pay dearly’ for his North Korea threats
Speaking before the United Nations, Ri also said Pyongyang was ready for a preemptive nuclear attack against the US if needed.
“Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at UN,” Trump tweeted in response, adding, “If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”
The renewed tensions come as there were military maneuvers held by US bombers over waters east of North Korea. The Pentagon said Saturday that its bombers from Guam and Okinawa, in Japan, had flown in international airspace over the waters in “a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat.”
North Korea is under mounting international pressure over its missile and military nuclear programs and has been subjected to an array of sanctions by the United Nations. However, Pyongyang says it needs to continue and develop the programs as a deterrent against hostility by the US and its regional allies, including South Korea and Japan.