DPRK threatens US military aircraft, cites Trump ‘declaration of war’

UN General Assembly

DPRK threatens US military aircraft, cites Trump 'declaration of war'

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ups the ante in its war or words with the U.S., threatening military action against American military aircraft.

CGTN’s Nathan King reports from the United Nations.

In a rare news conference before leaving New York, the DPRK’s foreign minister cited U.S. President Trump’s U.N. speech as a pretext to possibly escalate the two country’s conflict beyond mere words.

“Last week, Trump declared war on our country. This is clearly a declaration of war,” Ri Yong Ho said.

The official said “declaration of war” was a violation of the United Nations Charter, and therefore Pyongyang was within its rights to defend itself.

“Since the U.S. declared war on our country… we have the right to shoot down U.S. strategic bombers, even when not in our airspace.”

Ri was referring to flights this weekend by American B-1B bombers and F-15 fighter jets. They flew in international airspace, but right off the coast of the DPRK. This was the furthest north the U.S. military has flown in the 21st century.

The White House issued a response, saying Trump did not declare war and diplomacy is not yet exhausted.

“We’ve not declared war on North Korea, and frankly, the suggestion of that is absurd,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “Our goal is still the same: We continue to seek the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. That’s our focus. Doing that through both the most maximum economic and economic pressures as possible at this point.”

With no diplomatic relations and increasingly violent rhetoric, Washington and Pyongyang could easily find themselves clashing on the Korean peninsula. Even a small mistake by either side could lead to war in the current environment.

Karl Friedhoff discusses the tensions between the US and DPRK

CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with Karl Friedhoff, foreign policy analyst from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.