Officials from North Korea have reportedly said that one of President Donald Trump's tweets could be considered a declaration of war following his recent address to the United Nations and that they were within their rights to "make countermeasures" in self-defense against the United States, BuzzFeed News reports.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho reportedly said while speaking to reporters outside his hotel near the United Nations that the country considered Trump's tweets worthy of a response, particularly the one from Friday night that read "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!"
"The UN charter stipulates individual member states’ rights to self-defense," Ri said, according to BuzzFeed. "Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures including the right to shoot down the United States’ strategic bombers even when they’re not yet inside the airspace border of our country."
BREAKING: North Korea's foreign minister says Trump's latest statement was "a declaration of war" against his country.
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 25, 2017
The BBC reports that Ri also said that "all options will be on the operations table of the supreme leadership of the DPRK [North Korea]."
According to CNN, Katina Adams, a State Department spokesperson, said that "the United States has not 'declared war' on North Korea. We continue to seek a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula... No nation has the right to fire on other nations' aircraft or ships in international airspace or waters."
However, it should be noted that the escalating rhetoric between North Korea and the United States has been ongoing for sometime. What stands out about this exchange and these comments, however, is that Ri indicated that North Korea would be willing to fire on U.S. planes in international air space — possibly referring to the multiple missile tests and a recent patrol of warplanes nearby the eastern coast of the country.
However, as the BBC reports, a spokesperson for UN Secretary General António Guterres stressed that the escalating back-and-forth between the two hot-headed heads of state could be dangerous.
"Fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings," Guterres said. "The only solution for this is a political solution."