US flies bombers over North Korea, Kim Un says rockets on US are inevitable
North Korea said on Saturday firing its rockets at the U.S. mainland was “inevitable” after U.S. President Donald Trump called Pyongyang’s leader “rocket man”, in a further escalation of rhetoric between the two countries over the North’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho’s remarks before the United Nations General Assembly came hours after U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighter jets flew in international airspace over waters east of North Korea in a show of force the Pentagon said demonstrated the range of military options available to Trump.
Ri’s speech capped a week of escalating rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang, with Trump and Kim Jong Un trading insults. Trump called the North Korean leader a “madman” on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”
On Saturday, the mudslinging continued with Ri calling Trump “a mentally deranged person full of megalomania and complacency” who is trying to turn the United Nations into a “gangsters’ nest”. Ri retorted that Trump himself was on a “suicide mission” after the U.S. president said Kim was on such a mission.
”‘President Evil’ is holding the seat of the U.S.
President,” Ri said, warning that Pyongyang was ready to defend itself if the United States showed any sign of conducting a “decapitating operation on our headquarters or military attack against our country”.
“Now we are finally only a few steps away from the final gate of completion of the state nuclear force,” Ri told the annual gathering of world leaders.
He said sanctions would have no effect on Pyongyang’s resolve to develop its nuclear weapons, with the ultimate goal being “balance of power with the U.S.”
Trump announced new U.S. sanctions on Thursday that he said allow targeting of companies and institutions that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea.
Earlier this month the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted its ninth round of sanctions on Pyongyang to counter its nuclear and ballistic missiles programs.
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 has flown in the 21st century, the Pentagon said.
“This mission is a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White.
“We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland and our allies.”
North Korea has launched dozens of missiles this year, several flying over Japan, as it accelerates its program aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.
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