Tensions continue to escalate between the U.S. and North Korea. On Monday, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said President Trump has declared war against North Korea.
Ri Yong-ho: “Because this comes from the current president of the United States, this is clearly a declaration of war. … All the member states participating in the United Nations General Assembly and the whole world should remember that it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country.”
Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho also said North Korea has the right to shoot down any U.S. warplanes flying near the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. has been flying bombers off the coast of North Korea. The U.S. and South Korea also staged massive military exercises last month on the Korean Peninsula. The last time North Korea shot down a U.S. warplane was in 1969, killing all 31 crew members aboard. On Monday, the White House rejected the idea that President Trump has declared war on North Korea. This is White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “We’ve not declared war on North Korea and frankly the suggestion of that is absurd.”
Reporter: “What is the White House’s reaction to North Korea’s threat to shoot down U.S. aircraft even if it’s not in their airspace?”
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “It’s never appropriate for a country to shoot down another country’s aircraft when it’s over international waters. Our goal is still the same. We continue to seek the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. That’s our focus. Doing that through both the most maximum economic and diplomatic pressures is possible at this point.”
Monday’s escalation came one day after President Trump tweeted, “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!” “Little Rocket Man” is an apparent reference to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.