The North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho has accused US President Donald Trump of declaring war on his country by tweeting over the weekend that North Korea “won’t be around much longer.”
Ri Yong-ho said: “The whole world should clearly remember it was the US who first declared war on our country.” He referred in particular to Trump’s tweet on Sunday that warned that the regime’s leaders “won’t be around much longer”.
“Last weekend Trump claimed that our leadership wouldn’t be around much longer and declared a war on our country,” Ri said, according to an official translation of his remarks to reporters in New York.
CNN report DPRK foreign minister saying “Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make all self-defensive counter measures, including the right to shoot down the United States strategic bombers at any time even when they are not yet inside the aerospace border of our country,”.
The white house denied it had declared war but warned it had military options if North Korea does take further “provocative” actions.
“ The suggestion of that is absurd,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Washington said, “Our goal is still the same: we continue to seek the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” she said. “That’s our focus – doing that through both the most maximum economic and diplomatic pressures as possible at this point.”
North Korea accuses US of declaring war, says can take countermeasures North Korea accuses US of declaring war
Ri claimed on Monday that the comment was a declaration of war. In response, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning said the Defense Department would give Trump options to “deal with North Korea” if provocations continue.
Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if the US was forced to defend itself or an ally. He then tweeted on Friday that Kim was “obviously a madman” who would be “tested like never before.”
Kim responded to the US President’s speech in a rare televised statement in which he said Trump would “pay dearly” for the threats and accused him of being “mentally deranged.”
Shortly after Kim’s televised address, North Korea’s foreign minister said his country could test a powerful nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean in response to Trump’s threats of military action.
Nor is it entirely clear whether Pyongyang’s anti-aircraft missiles could shoot down a US bomber. Its KN-06 missiles have an estimated range of nearly 100 miles, but it is not known whether it has the means to target and hit an offshore target.
“It is easier to prevent penetration than strike an aircraft that is offshore. The US military will be calibrating how and where it flies,” said Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Centre for American Progress. “It will be tough to take shots, but we can’t assume that they would fail.”