North Korea’s foreign minister has said that President Donald Trump has declared war on the country and Pyongyang has the right to shoot down US strategic bombers.
He added that they have the right to strike even if they aren’t in North Korean airspace.
Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said: ‘The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country.
‘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.’
He added: ‘The question of who won’t be around much longer will be answered then…’
That was in response to Trump’s tweet in which he said: ‘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!’
US bombers and fighter escorts flew to the farthest point north of the border between North and South Korea by any such American aircraft this century in a show of military might, the Pentagon said on Sunday.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that a rise in rhetoric between North Korea and the US increases the risk of miscalculations.
‘Fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings,’ UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters after Ri’s statement. ‘The only solution for this is a political solution.’
The mission in international airspace was said to show how seriously President Donald Trump takes North Korea’s ‘reckless behaviour’.
‘This mission is a demonstration of US resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat.
‘North Korea’s weapons programme is a grave threat to the Asia-Pacific region and the entire international community. We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the US homeland and our allies,’ Defence Department spokesman Dana White said in a statement.
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, has said Mr Trump would ‘pay dearly’ for threatening to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea if the US was forced to defend itself or its allies against a North Korean attack. Kim’s foreign minister told reporters this past week that the North’s response to Mr Trump ‘could be the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific’.
North Korea has said it intends to build a missile capable of striking all parts of the United States with a nuclear bomb. Mr Trump has said he will not allow it, although the US so far has not used military force to impede the North’s progress.