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  World   Americas  26 Sep 2017  Any claim of declaring war on North Korea absurd: White House defends Trump's tweet

Any claim of declaring war on North Korea absurd: White House defends Trump's tweet

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Published : Sep 26, 2017, 11:03 am IST
Updated : Sep 26, 2017, 6:57 pm IST

North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that US President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a 'declaration of war'.

US President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un (Photo: AFP)
 US President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un (Photo: AFP)

Washington: The White House has rejected claims that the US has declared war on North Korea, asserting that any suggestion in this regard is ‘absurd’, even as the two nuclear powers engaged in a war of words again.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was responding to questions in this regard at her daily press conference.

“Not at all. We’ve not declared war on North Korea. And frankly, the suggestion of that is absurd,” she said.

Sanders said it is never appropriate for a country to shoot down another country’s aircraft when it’s over international waters.

“Our goal is still the same: We continue to seek the peaceful denuclearising of the Korean Peninsula -- that’s our focus -- doing that through both the maximum economic and diplomatic pressures as possible at this point,” the White House Press Secretary said in response to a question.

North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that US President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down US bombers, even in international airspace.

It was the latest escalation in a week of undiplomatic exchanges between North Korea and the US during the UN General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting.

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters that the United Nations and the international community have said in recent days that they didn't want "the war of words" to turn into "real action."

But he said that by tweeting that North Korea's leadership led by Kim Jong-Un "won't be around much longer," Trump "declared the war on our country."

Trump tweeted on Saturday: "Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at UN if he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!"

North Korea has repeatedly said it needs a nuclear deterrent because the US intends to invade it.

Ri told the General Assembly on Saturday that the DPRK's recent "ICBM-mountable H-bomb test" was a key step to completing its nuclear force.

He called it "a war deterrent for putting an end to nuclear threat of the US and for preventing its military invasion."

"Our ultimate goal is to establish the balance of power with the US," the foreign minister said.

Tags: un general assembly, donald trump, ri yong ho, north korea
Location: United States, District of Columbia, Washington