The White House has called North Korea’s claim on Monday that President Trump had declared war on the isolated regime ‘absurd’.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders used an on-camera press briefing to throw cold water on Kim Jong-un’s foreign minister’s claim that his regime could now fire at U.S. bombers.
Ri Yong-ho talking to reporters in New York, said: ‘The whole world should clearly remember it was the US 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.’
But Sanders said: ‘We have not declared war on North Korea. Frankly, the suggestion of that is absurd.’
Push back: Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, called the claim that Trump had declared war on Kim Jong-un ‘absurd’
North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, centre, speaking through an interpreter, left, talks outside the UN Plaza Hotel in New York today
US President Donald Trump listens to members of the media on the South Lawn after returning to the White House in Washington DC
Kim Jong-un’s Foreign Minister has said President Donald Trump has declared war on North Korea. The dictator is pictured here delivering a speech last week addressing the US leader
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho gets into a car before heading to the US last week
Ri added: ‘Trump claimed our leadership would not be around much longer. He declared a war on our country.’
The remarks from the rogue state’s Foreign Minister is in reaction to comments made by the President of the US in which he questioned how long the North Korean leadership would be in power.
‘Trump claimed our leadership would not be around much longer,’ Ri said, threatening to shoot down American aircraft from international airspace.
‘The question of who will be around much longer will be answered then,’ he added.
North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho arrives to address the 72nd session of the United Nations General assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on September 23
Ri, who made the comments before leaving New York where he had attended last week’s UN General Assembly, made the statement then returned from his car to the press microphones to add: ‘In light of the declaration of war by Trump, all options will be on the operations table of the supreme leadership of the DPRK (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea).’
His words echoed warnings from the Trump administration that all options were on the table in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear and missile development and its threats to have a weapon capable of reaching the continental United States.
And this afternoon the Pentagon gave reassurance to Donald Trump to say he will be provided with options to deal with Pyongyang if North Korea does not stop with its ‘provocative actions’.
On Saturday, Ri told the UN General Assembly that targeting the US mainland with its rockets was inevitable after ‘Mr Evil President’ Trump called Pyongyang’s leader a ‘rocket man’ on a suicide mission.
Trump tweeted: ‘Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at UN.
‘If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer.’
North Korea has pursued its missile and nuclear programs in defiance of international condemnation and sanctions.
US stocks fell sharply in late morning trading on Monday as news of the statements filtered through and a selloff in technology stocks accelerated.
The five tech giants – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet – were down between 3.7 percent and 1.05 percent, weighing on the three major indexes.
Amid bitter wrangling between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, US bombers and jet fighters flew off the North Korean coast on Saturday in a show of force.
In response, the dictator released a propaganda video depicting North Korean missiles blowing up US aircraft carrier and a plane in response to Donald Trump’s perceived aggression.
The clip was released on Sunday by the state-run DPRK Today and shows the USS Carl Vinson going up in flames after a Pukguksong missile is launched.
Korea’s video brands the American President a ‘mad man’ and states any attack on the country would see US forces ‘head to the grave’.
In an unprecedented direct statement on Friday, Kim described Trump as a ‘mentally deranged US dotard’ whom he would tame with fire.
Kim said North Korea would consider the ‘highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history’ against the United States and that Trump’s comments had confirmed his nuclear programme was ‘the correct path’.
Trump threatened in his maiden UN address last Tuesday to ‘totally destroy’ the country of 26 million people if North Korea threatened the United States or its allies.
Asked how concerned China was the war of words between Trump and North Korea could get out of control, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang described the situation as highly complex and sensitive.
It was vitally important everyone strictly, fully and correctly implemented all North Korea related UN resolutions, Lu said, resolutions which call for both tighter sanctions and efforts to resume dialogue.
All sides should ‘not further irritate each other and add oil to the flames of the tense situation on the peninsula at present’, Lu told a daily news briefing.
‘We hope all sides do not continue doing things to irritate each other and should instead exercise restraint.’
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) pose prior to a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017
Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) shakes hands with Theresa May to the G20 Summit on September 4, 2016 in Hangzhou, China
Speaking to British Prime Minister Theresa May by telephone, Chinese President Xi Jinping repeated Beijing’s position that the North Korean issue should be resolved peacefully via talks, state media said.
China hopes Britain can play a constructive role in easing the situation and pushing for a resumption in talks, Xi said.
May, like some other U.S. allies, has pushed for China to do more on North Korea.
US President Donald J Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May walk the colonade of the White House in Washington, DC, US, earlier this year
Downing Street said the two leaders agreed there was a particular responsibility for China and Britain, as permanent Security Council members, to help find a diplomatic solution.
North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear bomb test on September 3 Pyongyang said on Friday it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.
While China has been angered by North Korea’s repeated nuclear and missile tests, it has also called for the United States and its allies to help lessen tension by dialling back their military drills.
US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighters flew in international airspace over waters east of North Korea on Saturday in a show of force the Pentagon said indicated the range of military options available to Trump.
In response to a question about the exercises, Chinese spokesman Lu said: ‘A continued rise in tensions on the peninsula, I believe, is not in the interests of any side.’
Wang Jingdong, president of the world’s largest lender Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), told reporters during a briefing the bank will ‘strictly implement UN Security Council decisions related to North Korea and carefully fulfil relevant international responsibility’.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday said his decision to call a snap election would not distract his government from responding to North Korean threats.
A US Air Force B-1B Lancer, flanked by Republic of Korea Air Force F-15K Slam Eagles, dropping a 2,000lb live bomb at Pilsung Training Range, South Korea on September 18, 2017 as a part of a show of force mission in response to North Korea’s ballistic missile tests