NEW YORK: Pyongyang said US President Donald Trump has declared war on North Korea and it reserves the right to take countermeasures, including shooting down of US bombers even if they are not in its air space.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, speaking to reporters in New York on Monday, said that US President Donald Trump has effectively declared war on North Korea, meaning all options were on the table for his country’s leadership.
“The whole world should clearly remember it was the US who first declared war on our country,” Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York.
“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.”
“The question of who won’t be around much longer will be answered then,” Mr Ri added in a direct reference to a tweet by Mr Trump on Saturday.
In response, the Pentagon said it would be providing Mr Trump with “options” on how to deal with Pyongyang.
“If North Korea does not stop their provocative actions, you know, we will make sure that we provide options to the President to deal with North Korea,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning said.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Saunders later denied the accusation that Mr Trump had declared war on North Korea, and called the suggestion “absurd”.
The increasingly heated rhetoric between Mr Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is raising fears of a risk of a miscalculation by one side or the other that could have massive repercussions.
On Monday, China called for all sides in the North Korea missile crisis to show restraint adding that the situation was “getting too dangerous”.
Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she believes war with North Korea can be avoided.
“I believe that North Korea can be deterred, I don’t think there’s anything inevitable about this current circumstance,” she said.
“Obviously if North Korea were to follow through on its rhetoric and attack there would be a retaliation, the consequences would be obvious.”