Trump has declared war, says North Korea

North Korea ’ s foreign minister on Monday accused US President Donald Trump of declaring war against his country and said Pyongyang was ready to defend itself by shooting down US bombers .
The latest threats stoked a week- long war of words that began when the American leader threatened in his address to the United Nations General Assembly to “ totally destroy ” North Korea if it launches an attack .
Alarm over Pyongyang ’ s nuclear and ballistic missile program has dominated this year ’s gathering of world leaders at the UN, amid fears the heated rhetoric could accidentally trigger a war — fears further heightened after US bombers flew off the coast of North Korea on Saturday .
Speaking to reporters outside his New York hotel, Foreign Minister Ri Yong - ho offered a response to Trump after the US leader warned on Twitter at the weekend that North Korea “won ’ t be around much longer ” if it keeps up its threats .
Ri said that the international community had hoped that the “war of words between the DPRK and the United States not turn into real actions. ”
“ However, last weekend , Trump claimed our leadership would not be around much longer , ” Ri said. “He declared a war on our country . ”
“ Since the United States declared war on our country , we will have every right to take counter - measures including the right to shoot down US strategic bombers even when they are not yet inside the airspace border of our country , ” he said .
“ The question of who won ’t be around much longer will be answered then . ”
Ri noted that the statement from Trump was “clearly a declaration of war ” even if it came from the US president. Under the US Constitution , Congress is the sole power that can declare war .
– Military options –
In his first address to the General Assembly, Trump last week threatened to “ totally destroy ” North Korea and derided leader Kim Jong- un as a “rocket man ” who was “ on a suicide mission. ”
Kim hit back with a rare personal attack on Trump , branding him “ mentally deranged ” and a “ dotard , ” and warning he would “ pay dearly ” for his threat.
Russia ’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has compared the past week’ s rhetoric to a “kindergarten fight between children ” and had urged the “hot heads ” to calm down .
Asked about the North Korean minister ’ s latest remarks , UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric acknowledged the dangerous spike in tensions , saying : “ When you have the rise of tension, the rise of rhetoric, so does the risk of miscalculation . ”
North Korea in recent weeks detonated its sixth nuclear bomb and has test - fired intercontinental missiles — saying it needs to defend itself against hostility from the United States and its allies.
During his address to the General Assembly on Saturday , Ri launched a personal attack on Trump , calling him a “ mentally deranged person full of megalomania . ”
Just hours before Ri took the UN podium, US bombers flew off the east coast of North Korea , the furthest north of the demilitarized zone that any US aircraft has flown this century .
The Pentagon described the mission as a “ demonstration of US resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat. ”
On Saturday , Ri warned that Trump ’ s threat to destroy North Korea made “our rockets ’ visit to the entire US mainland all the more inevitable .
The bellicose rhetoric comes as international alarm mounts over Pyongyang ’ s weapons ambitions — including a suggestion by Ri last week that the country is considering detonating an H- bomb over the Pacific .
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said such a move would be a “ shocking display of irresponsibility . ”
As tensions over North Korea reached fever - pitch , Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called a snap election .
The North Korea crisis appears to have given the hawkish Abe a welcome boost in the polls following a series of scandals .
In his speech to the United Nations last week , Abe rejected appeals for dialogue with Pyongyang to ease tensions and backed the US stance of keeping all options — including military ones — on the table.