North Korea's foreign minister said on Monday that President Donald Trump had declared war on North Korea and that Pyongyang reserves the right to take countermeasures, including shooting down U.S. strategic bombers even if they are not in the country's air space.
"The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country," Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York.
Ri was referring to Trump's Saturday tweet that 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!"
"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," Ri said.
The foreign minister opened his brief remarks in Korean by saying that over the last few days, the U.N. and the international community have clearly wished "that the war of words between the DPRK and the United States will not turn into real action."
DPRK refers to the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"However, that weekend, Trump claimed that our leadership wouldn't be around much longer, and ... he declared the war on our country," Ri said.
"Given the fact that this comes from someone who is currently holding the seat of (the) United States presidency, this is clearly a declaration of war," the foreign minister said.
Ri then said North Korea now has the right to retaliate against U.S. bombers.
And he ended his brief remarks by saying: "The question of who won't be around much longer will be answered then."
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now