On Wednesday, a Russian state news agency quoted North Korea’s foreign minister as saying that US President Donald Trump has “lit the wick of the war” against North Korea. This statement came after weeks of increasing tensions between North Korea and the United States, provoked by Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear tests and Trump’s tough talk. The North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho quoted Trump’s September speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York as tipping point while speaking to Russia’s state-run TASS news agency.
“By his bellicose and insane statement in the UN arena, Trump — it can be said — lit the wick of the war against us. We need to settle the final score, only with a hail of fire, not words,” Ri said on TASS’ English language website. While speaking at the UN last month, Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea and teased the country’s leader, whom he mentioned as “Rocket Man”. Calling Trump “mentally deranged” after the UN speech, Mi told TASS that North Korea was winning and represented “a worthy counterweight to the US”. Repeating past warnings by North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, Ri said, “the United States should act sensibly and stop touching us if they do not want to disgrace themselves in the face of the whole world,” adding that his nation’s forces “will not leave America, the aggressor state, unpunished”.
Ri’s comments are expected to add some more fuel to the war of words between Trump and Kim. Amid an appearance with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House on Wednesday, Trump said that while he listens to others around him, he as a “different” attitude when it comes to the North Korea to which he admits as “tougher”. “I think I have a little bit of a different attitude on North Korea than other people might have. And I listen to everybody, but ultimately, my attitude is the one that matters, isn’t it? That’s the way it works. That’s the way the system is,” Trump said. The US President Trump also told reporters that he wants to leave the US arsenal in “tip-top” condition, declining on an NBC report that he hungered to raise the stockpile tenfold.
According to the TASS, Ri said, “The current situation — when the US resorts to maximum pressure and sanctions, to outrageous military threats against the DPRK — is not at all an atmosphere to negotiate.”