The president responded to comments made by North Korea’s foreign minister at the United Nations
Donald Trump tells North Korea’s Kim Jong-un he ‘won’t be around much longer’
US President Donald Trump has threatened Kim Jong-un with a regime change, after North Korea’s foreign minister gave a speech to the United Nations calling the American businessman “mentally deranged”.
Ri Yong-ho used his address at the General Assembly on Saturday to warn the US that innocent lives would pay the cost of the president’s reckless provocations against Pyongyang.
In a Twitter response, Mr Trump, who is now referring to North Korea’s leader as “rocketman”, said Mr Ri and Mr Kim “won’t be around for much longer”.
Over on the Korean Peninsula, the Pentagon confirmed that it had flown bombers close to the North Korean border.
“This mission is a demonstration of US resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat,” US Defence Department spokesperson Dana White said in a statement.
“North Korea’s weapons programme is a grave threat to the Asia-Pacific region and the entire international community. We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the US homeland and our allies.”
The US show of strength came after an earth tremor was detected across North Korea, prompting fears that the regime was testing another nuclear weapon.
Mr Ri confirmed North Korea had tested a hydrogen bomb during his speech and was in the process of completing its nuclear force.
He said Mr Trump’s repeated insults about Mr Kim made “our rocket’s visit to the entire US mainland inevitable all the more”.
“The very reason for the DPRK to possess nuclear weapons is the US,” he said.
Tensions between the US and North Korea have been escalating this year over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons ambitions.
In the past week, the two leaders traded personal insults, with Mr Trump describing Mr Kim as “a madman”, while the North Korean leader retaliated by calling the US president a “dotard” and a “frightened dog”.