North Korea claims the United States will be punished with a “hail of fire,” and accused President Donald Trump of having “lit the wick of war,” a Russian news agency quoted the North’s foreign minister as saying.
In an interview with Russia’s state-run TASS news agency Wednesday, North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said Trump’s “belligerent and insane statement” to the UN General Assembly last month “lighted the fuse of war against us.”
“Now it is the United States’ turn to pay, and all of our military servicemen and our entire people insistently demand that final scores be settled with the Americans only with a hail of fire, and not with words,” TASS quoted the minister as saying. “We have nearly achieved the final point on the way to our ultimate goal, to achieving a real balance of force with the United States.
READ MORE: U.S. flies bombers over Korean peninsula in show of force
“Our nuclear weapons will never be a subject matter of negotiations as long as the United States’ policy of pressure on the DPRK has not been uprooted once and for all,” TASS quoted the minister as saying.
Ho previously compared Trump’s UN speech to the sound of a “barking dog.”
The foreign minister told reporters in New York that “It would be a dog’s dream if he intended to scare us with the sound of a dog barking.”
On Tuesday, Trump discussed a “range of options” with his top defence officials on how to respond to any aggression by North Korea.
The White House said in a statement Trump was briefed by Secretary of Defence James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford on how to respond to any form of North Korean aggression or any nuclear threat by the secretive regime against the U.S. and its allies.
Tuesday’s meeting came on the same day the U.S. military flew two Air Force bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force.
The two B-1B bombers were accompanied by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam, according to South Korea’s military.
On Monday, Mattis said the U.S. army must be ready for military options with dealing with Kim Jong Un and his nuclear weapons program.
READ MORE: Donald Trump talks of ‘calm before the storm’ during photo-op with U.S. military leaders
“It is right now a diplomatically led, economic sanctioned buttressed effort to try and turn North Korea off this path,” Mattis told the annual convention of the Association of the U.S. Army. “Now, what does the future hold? Neither you nor I can say so there is one thing the U.S. Army can do and that is you have got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our president can employ if needed.”
Over the weekend, Trump suggested that “only one thing will work” when dealing with North Korea.
“Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid,” Trump tweeted. “Hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!”
Last Thursday, after discussing Iran and North Korea with U.S. military leaders, Trump posed for a photo with them before dinner and declared the moment “the calm before the storm.”
“You guys know what this represents?” Trump said after journalists gathered in the White House state dining room to photograph him and first lady Melania Trump with the uniformed military leaders and their spouses.
“Maybe it’s the calm before the storm,” he said.
“What storm?” reporters asked
“You’ll find out,” Trump responded.
According to a new survey released Wednesday, nearly two-thirds of Americans believe Trump’s comments on North Korea are making matters worse.
Results from an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll suggest that 65 per cent think Trump’s remarks are making the situation between the U.S. and North Korea worse, including 45 per cent who think he’s made the situation much worse.
Of the 1,150 people surveyed, only eight per cent think he’s making the situation better.
The poll was conducted Sept. 28 – Oct. 2, according the Associated Press.
–with a files from the Associated Press.
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