North Korean minister says Trump has declared “war”

Korean Central News Agency/Korean News Service via AP
Korean Central News Agency/Korean News Service via AP

(Via ABC News)

North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said Monday that his country has the right to shoot down U.S. warplanes in response to President Trump’s “declaration of war.”

North Korea has “every right to take countermeasures … including to shoot down United States strategic bombers, even when not inside the airspace border of our country,” Ri said in brief remarks outside his hotel in New York, where he is attending the U.N. General Assembly. “The question of who won’t be around much longer will be answered then.”

Ri was referring to a tweet late Saturday from President Donald Trump warning Ri, “If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”

Trump tweeted after Ri said in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly earlier that day that the U.S. mainland was an “inevitable” target for rocket attacks after Trump’s previous remarks on North Korea. This followed an unprecedented statement by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in which he described Trump’s behavior as “mentally deranged” and called him “a dotard” and “a gangster fond of playing with fire.”

In his first U.N. address last week, Trump referred to Kim as “Rocket Man” and said that if the U.S. is forced to defend itself or its allies, it will have no choice but to “totally destroy” North Korea.