SOUTH KOREA’s state news agency has claimed that Pyongyang appears to be boosting its defences on the country’s eastern coastline, after its foreign minister said US President Donald Trump had declared war on the North via Twitter.
Yonhap reported Tuesday that the reclusive North was in fact bolstering its defences by moving aircraft to the coast and taking other measures, after US bombers flew close to the Korean peninsula at the weekend.
North Korea’s foreign minister said Sunday that Trump had declared war on North Korea, warning in a tweet that he and the country’s leader Kim Jong Un “won’t be around much longer” if the regime continued its threatening.
Trump earlier threatened he would need to “totally destroy” North Korea if the US or its allies were attacked during his address to the UN General Assembly in New York.
“Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country,” said Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.
“The question of who won’t be around much longer will be answered then.”
South Korea urged for a de-escalation of rhetoric and nuclear disarmament on the part of its northern neighbour – which it has technically been at war with since the 1950s.
“The North should realise that it is no other than its nuclear and missile provocations and threatening words that cause tensions to rise on the Korean Peninsula,” said a foreign ministry spokesman on Tuesday as quoted by Yonhap.
“It should come out for denuclearisation talks as soon as possible.”
Additional reporting by Reuters.