The White House has denied US President Donald Trump has declared war on North Korea, calling the idea “absurd”.
It follows remarks by Pyongyang’s foreign minister who said the declaration meant his government would consider shooting down US bombers.
White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders was quick to reject the notion.
“We’ve not declared war on North Korea and frankly the suggestion of that is absurd. It’s 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 de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
On Saturday US bombers flew close to North Korea in a show of force. A Trump tweet making a veiled threat to the North Korean leadership has been been deemed a war declaration by Pyongyang.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
Speaking in New York at the UN, North Korean Foreign Minister, Ri Yong Ho said:
“Since the United States declared war on us we will have every right to take counter measures including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country.”
North Korea launched its sixth and largest nuclear missile test this month and has recently threatened to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific, heightening tensions with the US and in the region.
North Korean leadership is well known for its fiery rhetoric, but since assuming the US presidency, Donald Trump has joined in with bold language of his own.