Tensions between the United States and North Korea – or more specifically, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un – have escalated again in the wake of Trump’s disparaging “little rocket man” comment.
At an Alabama rally on Friday Trump fanned flames by calling Jong-un a madman and declaring that “Rocket Man should have been handled a long time ago.”
North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho has responded to the comments, saying that the President’s taunting has only affirmed North Korea’s intentions to go to war with the United States. “He committed an irreversible mistake of making our rocket’s visit to the entire US mainland inevitable all the more,” Yong-ho asserted. “None other than Trump himself is on a suicide mission.”
Trump retaliated with a tweet that read: “just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”
Just a few hours after Yong-ho’s statement, American Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers and fighter jets flew over waters east of North Korea. The flight was the closest a US military plane has ever flown to the demilitarised area that separates North and South Korea.
“This mission is a demonstration of US resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat,” Dana Whites, Pentagon spokeswoman, announced.
In response to the events, thousands of North Koreans gathered for an anti-US rally in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square during the weekend, waving banners that declared “Death to America!”, “The U.S. is evil’s headquarters” and “Old Foe U.S.”