North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho says the United States has declared war on his country.
Ri made the statement to reporters in New York City on Monday. He added that his country would take counter-actions, including shooting down American warplanes.
Ri directly linked the threat to one of U.S. President Donald Trump’s late-night Twitter messages over the weekend.
In a tweet late Saturday, Trump wrote, “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!” Ri had made a speech to the U.N. General Assembly earlier on Saturday.
In a show of force, the U.S. sent several B1 bombers and fighter planes on a mission Saturday along the North and South Korean borders. A Pentagon spokesman said, "This mission is a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat.”
Ri said on Monday, “Given the fact that this comes from someone who is currently holding the seat of United States presidency, this is clearly a declaration of war."
Ri told reporters that "we [North Korea] will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down the United States strategic bombers, even when they are not yet inside the airspace border of our country.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday, “We’ve not declared war on North Korea. She added that the suggestion was “absurd.”
At the Pentagon, spokesman Army Colonel Robert Manning told reporters, "If North Korea does not stop their provocative actions, we (the military) will make sure that we provide options to the president to deal with North Korea. We have the right to fly, sail and operate where legally permissible around the globe.”
I’m Jonathan Evans.
Margaret Besheer reported this story for VOA. Hai Do adapted this story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
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Words in This Story
mission - n. a flight by an aircraft to perform a specific task
resolve - n. a strong determination to do something
countermeasure - n. an action intended to stop something
absurd - adj. silly, foolish or unreasonable
provocative - adj. causing discussion, argument