North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday that targeting the U.S. mainland with its rockets was inevitable after “Mr Evil President” Trump called Pyongyang’s leader a “rocket man” on a suicide mission.
“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!” Trump said on Twitter late on Saturday.
Trump and Kim have traded increasingly threatening and personal insults as Pyongyang races toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States - something Trump has vowed to prevent.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Sunday tried to dial back Trump’s comments.
“The president doesn’t want to be in a nuclear war and we will do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t occur,” he said on News. “On the other hand, the president will protect the American people and our allies.”
Analysts say the heated rhetoric is increasing the risk of a miscalculation by one side or the other that could have massive repercussions.
North Korea’s state-run television KRT aired a video on Sunday showing tens of thousands of people attending an anti-U.S. rally at Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang.
U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighters flew in international airspace over waters east of North Korea on Saturday in a show of force the Pentagon said indicated the range of military options available to Trump.
The U.S. bombers’ flight was the farthest north of the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea that any U.S. fighter jet or bomber had flown in the 21st century
Officials and experts said a small earthquake near North Korea’s nuclear test site on Saturday was probably not man-made, easing fears Pyongyang had exploded another nuclear bomb just weeks after its previous one