The tension between the U.S. and North Korea escalated after the latter said that the White House declared war. As a result, Pyongyang revealed they are preparing countermeasures and bolstered their defenses for possible bomb strikes.
On Monday, North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, attended the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York, and it was there that he told reporters, “The whole world should clearly remember it was the United States who first declared war on our country.”
The foreign minister added, “The question of who won’t be around much longer will be answered then.”
Ri’s comment stemmed from Donald Trump’s tweet that was interpreted by the North Koreans as waging war against them. The post of the U.S. leader on Twitter was about the presence of U.S. fighter jets that were reported to have started hovering closer above North Korea’s coastline.
Right after the supposed declaration of war, Pyongyang announced that it would shoot down the bomber jets flying near the peninsula, even if they are not inside the airspace border. They further stated that North Korea has every right to take countermeasures since they are being threatened.
Korean media outlet Yonhap News Agency reported that the secluded North Koreans are, in fact, already boosting defenses by placing fighter aircraft to its east coast. Other actions are being prepared as the U.S. jets fly closer to the Korean border.
Immediately after Ri issued statements via the media, White House’s spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, refuted the news that Donald Trump had declared war and called the allegations “absurd.”
The White House also warned Pyongyang to stop deliberate provocations after saying it has the right to strike U.S. warplanes.
With the threats and aggravations, the UN warned that such heated talks could cause serious misunderstandings where thousands of lives are at stake. Likewise, South Koreans held a rally to protest the intensifying war of words between the U.S. and North Korea.
They are calling for calm and cool-headed responses as local leaders warned that any accidental clashes could quickly get out of control and war may eventually break out. When this happens, the leaders added that catastrophic consequences will follow as a result.
In any case, the alarming buildup of tension between the countries has led many people to think that the U.S. is closer to getting into serious conflict with North Korea.
“We are closer to a nuclear exchange than we have been at any time in the world’s history with the single exception of the Cuban missile crisis,” James Stavridis, retired Navy admiral and Tufts University’s dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, told the Los Angeles Times.
On the other hand, there are others who belittled Ri’s Monday’s statements, calling it as nothing but bravado.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has added North Korea to the list of countries that cannot travel to America. In addition, the U.S. Treasury office has sanctioned eight North Korean banks and 26 individuals operating in four countries.
The move is said to be consistent with the UN Security Council Resolutions and mostly part of the campaign to close off financial support for North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. This is because, even with the international pressure, Pyongyang continued to launch test missiles and recently fired one over Japan. This action has been deemed a provocative act.
[Featured Image by Richard Drew/AP Images]