'Declaration of War': Washington denies; Pyongyang threatens
Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho: The US has declared war on us. We have the right to shoot down US jets. The White House: Absurd idea. Fears that the "war of words" will turn into "real action". UN, Russia, China, and South Korea ask both sides to cease provocations. In Pyongyang, photos and videos of an US bomber and a North Korean missile carrier.
New York (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The United States denies having "declared war" on North Korea, as suggested by Pyongyang, but warns they will not accept provocations after the latter declared it has the right to shoot down US reconnaissance jets on the Korean peninsula.
Speaking yesterday to reporters outside of his hotel in New York, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho denounced that "Last weekend, Trump said our leadership would not last long ... He has declared war on our country" . "Since the United States has declared war on our country," he continued, "we have every right to take countermeasures including the right to shoot down US strategic bombers, even when they are not inside our airspace," he said. "The question of who won’t be around much longer will be answered then.."
In the late afternoon of yesterday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House spokesman, denied that the United States declared war and rejected Ri’s idea as "absurd."
Over the past few weeks tension has been rising: North Korea has continued to carry out nuclear and missile experiments, the UN has responded with further sanctions, the US and its president have heightened threats to define Kim Jong-un a " rocket man on a suicidal mission" and threatening the "total destruction" of the country if Pyongyang targeted the US or some of its allies. Kim, for his part, called Trump "deranged".
Despite this, many experts have so far doubted that the war of words will lead to a direct conflict.
Yesterday Ri Yong-ho also said he hoped the "war of words" would not turn into "real actions." The United Nations, Russia and China are calling for a return to calm. South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha has called for measures to avoid "any escalation in tension or any kind of accidental military clash in the region, which could quickly lead to a spiral out of control."
The Yonhap agency reveals that South Korea intelligence sources claim that the North did not take any immediate action in response to the US bombers' flights. But two days ago, Pyongyang published photos and videos of an US bomber and an aircraft carrier that were attacked and destroyed.
Photos and videos (see photo 2 and 3) are on the official DPRK Today website and are obviously reworked, perhaps for internal propaganda. The video's subtitling says, "Should F-35, B-1B and the Carl Vinson lead the U.S. attack, they will head to the grave in that order."