North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho has brushed aside US President Donald Trump’s recent threat to “totally destroy” North Korea if Washington is forces to.
“There is a saying that the marching goes on even when dogs bark,” Ri said on arrival in New York on Thursday, citing a Korean proverb, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
The reaction came to Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea, which he made in his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
“If he was thinking he could scare us with the sound of a dog barking, that’s really a dog dream,” Ri added.
During his speech, Trump also said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was “on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” and that if the US was “forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”
Amid increasing tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, Trump mocked Kim in a tweet last weekend, calling him a “rocket man.”
Reacting, Ri said, “I feel sorry for his (Trump’s) aides.”
On Monday, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to adopt new sanctions against North Korea over its missile and nuclear activities. The resolution, drafted by the US, was the eighth against Pyongyang over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs since 2006.
The North Korean leader ordered the production of more rocket warheads and engines last month, shortly after the United States suggested that its threats of military action and sanctions were having an impact on Pyongyang’s behavior.
Pyongyang says it will not give up on its nuclear deterrence unless Washington ends its hostile policy toward the country and dissolves the US-led UN command in South Korea. Thousands of US soldiers are stationed in South Korea and Japan.