North Korea said on Saturday that targeting the U.S. mainland with its rockets was inevitable after “Mr. Evil President” Donald Trump called Pyongyang’s leader “rocket man,” further escalating rhetoric over the North’s nuclear weapons and missile programs.
In response Trump appeared to repeat earlier threats against the Kim regime, tweeting late on Saturday night that the country may not “be around much longer.”
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho’s remarks to the United Nations General Assembly came hours after U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighters flew in international airspace over waters east of North Korea in a show of force the Pentagon said showed the range of military options available to Trump.
Ri’s speech capped a week of rising tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, with Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un trading insults. Trump called Kim a “madman” on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”
On Saturday, the mudslinging continued with Ri calling Trump “a mentally deranged person full of megalomania and complacency” who is trying to turn the United Nations into a “gangsters’ nest.” Ri said Trump himself was on a “suicide mission” after the U.S. president had said Kim was on such a mission.
Trump then rounded off a day of newsworthy Twitter activity with his new threat.
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
“‘President Evil’ is holding the seat of the U.S. President,” Ri told the annual gathering of world leaders, warning that Pyongyang was ready to defend itself if the U.S. showed any sign of conducting a “decapitating operation on our headquarters or military attack against our country.”
“Now we are finally only a few steps away from the final gate of completion of the state nuclear force.”
He said sanctions would have no effect on Pyongyang’s resolve to develop its nuclear weapons, with the ultimate goal being “balance of power with the U.S.”
Trump announced new U.S. sanctions against the impoverished and isolated country on Thursday, targeting foreign companies that deal with the North.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Max Burman; Reuters