North Korea’s top diplomat issued a scornful response to US President Donald Trump on Thursday, likening his United Nations speech to “the sound of a barking dog.”
In his first speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump vowed to “totally destroy” North Korea if the isolated regime threatened the U.S. or its allies.
“If he was thinking he could scare us with the sound of a dog barking, that’s really a dog dream,” North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters near the UN headquarters in New York.
In Korean, a “dog dream” is one that is absurd or unrealistic.
“There is a saying that goes: ‘Even when dogs bark, the parade goes on’,” Ri added.
Asked by reporters what he thought of Trump calling North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un “rocket man,” Ri quipped: “I feel sorry for his aides.”
China pleas for calm
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has said he’s seeking a military “equilibrium” with the United States.
Pyongyang’s repeated missile launches in recent months have drawn worldwide condemnation and prompted the UN Security Council to slap further sanctions on the country just last week.
On Thursday, China warned the crisis was getting more serious by the day and the world could not let it spin out of control.
“We call on all parties to be calmer than calm and not let the situation escalate out of control,” said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, according to a report from the state-run China News Service.
Meeting separately with his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, Wang reiterated a call for South Korea to remove the U.S.-built THAAD anti-missile system, which China says is a threat to its own security.
“China hopes South Korea will make efforts to reduce tension,” a report on China’s official Xinhua news agency quoted Wang as saying.
China’s central bank has also told banks to stop providing financial services to new North Korean customers and to wind down existing loans with North Korean customers, four sources told Reuters news agency.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in was set to meet Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump later on Thursday, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, where North Korea was expected to be the core agenda item.