Ri Yong Ho, North Korea’s foreign minister, warned that the country could test a powerful nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean in response to President Donald Trump’s threats of military action. During a speech at the United Nations on Tuesday, Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if the United States were “forced to defend itself.”
“This could probably mean the strongest hydrogen bomb test over the Pacific Ocean. Regarding which measures to take, I don’t really know since it is what Kim Jong Un does,” said Ri, who is in New York for the UN General Assembly.
The foreign minister’s statement comes after North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un branded Trump “a frightened dog” and a “gangster fond of playing with fire” in a statement released by the official Korean Central News Agency yesterday.
“Far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors,” Kim said. “A frightened dog barks louder.” He added that North Korea “will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history… I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech.”
The North Korean leader further pledged to “surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire,” a word, according to Merriam-Webster, used to describe someone who is senile. The word “rose dramatically in lookups” after Kim Jong Un released his statement.
Trump responded to Kim’s threats on Twitter earlier this morning.
Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2017
As tensions continue to escalate, Japan’s defense minister Itsunori Onodera said the country must prepare to defend itself in the event of a missile launch. “We cannot deny the possibility it may fly over our country,” Onodera said yesterday, noting that Japan has been subject to two North Korean missile test flyovers in recent weeks. Meanwhile, France’s Sports Minister Laura Flessel announced that the country’s Winter Olympics team will not travel to the 2018 Games in South Korea if “our security cannot be assured.”
President Trump announced yesterday he planned to sign an executive order that would impose sanctions on individuals, companies and financial institutions that do business with North Korea. The sanctions are similar to ones which forced Iran to curb its nuclear program.
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