North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that US President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down US bombers, even in worldwide airspace.
The latest dustup came when Trump called North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un a "Little Rocket Man" in reference to the country's nuclear ambitions.
Last week, in his first speech to the General Assembly, Mr Trump vowed to "totally destroy" North Korea if it continued to threaten the U.S. and it allies.
North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, said Monday that the world doesn't want "the war of words" between his country and the U.S.to "turn into real action".
In July 2016, Pyongyang said USA sanctions imposed on Kim were "a declaration of war" against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea - the country's official name - and it made a similar statement after a new round of United Nations sanctions in December.
Ri Yong Ho, speaking to reporters at a hotel across the street from the United Nations, said President Donald Trump's comments at the General Assembly last week constituted a declaration of war.
"Even the fact that this comes from someone who is now holding the seat of the U.S. presidency is clearly a declaration of war".
The United States has imposed new sanctions on North Korea, targeting the country's major banks and 26 executives, amid increasing tensions between the two countries over U.S. military build-up on the Korean peninsula and Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
US B-1B bombers from Guam flew in global airspace over waters east of North Korea, according to the Pentagon, a move they said underscored the seriousness of Pyongyang's "reckless behavior".
"The question of who will be around much longer will be answered then".
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China has also threatened the US President with war after he made a "serious miscalculation" over North Korea.
The supersonic B-1B bombers have elaborate electronic countermeasures and are usually escorted by four F-15 fighters, which are likely to prevail in any air combat with North Korea's aging air force, said Bruce Bennett, a military expert at the RAND Corp. think tank.
Speaking alongside Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Trump reiterated that the U.S. is "totally prepared" if they have to use the military option, saying military action in North Korea would be "devastating". He mocked Kim with a taunt he'd first used on Twitter days before, saying: "Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime".
The piece concludes: "How far and vast the United States land may be, it can never escape the fate of getting scorched by the fire of justice of the DPRK".
The head of Cal OES says despite the lack of a direct, credible threat from North Korea he sees this as an opportunity for officials at the city, county and state level to check that emergency response plans are up to date and relevant.
White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster defended Trump's rhetoric and said on Monday he agreed that the risk was that Kim might fail to realize the danger he and his country faced.
North Korea and South Korea, a key US ally, have technically remained at war since the 1950s, with Kim's regime saying an armistice agreement is invalid.
He acknowledged that every military option assumed a reaction from North Korea that endangered South Korean citizens, adding that it is "foremost in our minds". The new fear, however, is North Korea's ability to launch a nuclear weapon at South Korea.
President Donald Trump vowed to "fix the mess" over North Korea's nuclear program but warned any US military attack would be "devastating".
A rapid series of missile and nuclear tests this year have raised alarm that North Korea is nearing its longstanding ambition of having an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction capable of striking the United States. The U.N. Security Council ratcheted up economic sanctions on the country as well this year in an attempt force North Korea to slow down or give up their nuclear program. Our aircraft carriers are one of the most commanding displays of US military muscle, and their deployment near the Korean Peninsula remains an effective way for President Trump to send a forceful message to Pyongyang.
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