“Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country,” Ri said on Monday, adding, “the question of who won’t be around much longer will be answered then.”
North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test earlier this month, its largest yet. It has also claimed to test both short-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) more than a dozen times this year, firing two over Japan in the past month. Ignoring calls for diplomacy made by numerous peace organizations, Trump and Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., have dismissed the possibility of holding peaceful negotiations with North Korea in order to de-escalate tensions and work with the Kim regime to manage its nuclear development, as the Obama administration did with Iran in 2015.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary James Mattis insisted after Trump’s combative speech at the U.N. that Washington’s approach to North Korea “is still a diplomatically-led effort,” echoing his remark last month that, “we are never out of diplomatic solutions.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also made an attempt at damage control after Trump’s speech, telling ABC, “Our diplomatic efforts continue unabated.”
The administration’s diplomatic response has mostly centered on slapping the isolated country with sanctions; Trump introduced the latest round last Thursday.
According to a survey taken last week by Public Policy Polling, 90 percent of Democrats and 80 percent of Republicans favor direct talks with North Korea before taking military action.
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