JUDY WOODRUFF: New escalation today in the war of words between the United States and North Korea. The North now says it’s ready to shoot down U.S. bombers in the face of threats by President Trump.
That follows the president’s weekend tweet that North Korean leaders — quote — “won’t be around much longer.” Today, the North’s foreign minister said that such language amounts to declaring war. He spoke in New York, where he’s attending the U.N. General Assembly.
RI YONG HO, Foreign Minister, North Korea (through interpreter): Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down the United States’ strategic bombers, even when they are not yet inside the airspace border of our country.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The White House dismissed the North Korean complaint. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders brushed aside any talk of war.
SARAH SANDERS, White House Press Secretary: We have not declared war on North Korea, and, frankly, the suggestion of that is absurd. It’s never appropriate for a country to shoot down another country’s aircraft when it’s over international waters. Our goal is still the same. We continue to seek the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. That’s our focus.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice, but there was never a peace treaty. As a result, the U.S. and North Korea are technically still at war.