- The Washington Times - Monday, September 25, 2017

A top North Korean official said Monday that President Trump has “declared war on our country,” and warned that Pyongyang could shoot down any U.S. warplanes flying nearby.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho said his country considers Mr. Trump’s comment last week that North Korea’s leaders “wouldn’t be around much longer” as an act of war.

“At last, he declared a war on our country,” Mr. Ri told reporters in New York City. “Even 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.”

SEE ALSO: North Korean official says Trump has ‘declared war,’ threatens to shoot down U.S. warplanes

He added, “We will have every right to take countermeasures, including to the right shoot down the United States’ strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country.”

U.S Air Force bombers escorted by fighter jets flew over waters off North Korea on Saturday, the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone that any U.S. aircraft has flown off North Korea’s coast in this century. The Pentagon said it was a show of force to show the range of military options available to Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump said at the United Nations last week that the U.S. was prepared to “totally destroy” North Korea if it attacked the U.S. or its allies. He said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is on a “suicide mission” with his insistence of conducting nuclear weapons tests and missile launches.

SEE ALSO: U.S. cannot ‘discount the possibility’ of war with North Korea, says Gen. McMaster

On Saturday, Mr. Trump tweeted, “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!”

As the rhetoric from both sides has escalated, North Korea has threatened to detonate a nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean. Mr. Kim has called the president “mentally deranged,” while Mr. Trump has called the North Korean leader “little Rocket Man.”

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