WASHINGTON — The Latest on the United States and North Korea (all times local):
The White House is pushing back on North Korea’s claim that President Donald Trump’s recent words amount to a declaration of war.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the U.S. hasn’t “declared war” on North Korea.
The Trump administration also clarified Monday that it is not seeking to overthrow North Korea’s government after the president tweeted that Kim Jong Un “won’t be around much longer.”
Pyongyang interpreted that tweet as a declaration of war.
Trump said in a speech last week to the U.N. General Assembly that if the U.S. is forced to defend itself against North Korea, “we will have no choice but to totally destroy” the country.
The U.S. and North Korea agreed to an armistice after the 1950-1953 Korean War, not a peace treaty. Because of that, they are still technically at war.
The Trump administration says it is not advocating regime change in North Korea after President Donald Trump tweeted that leader Kim Jong Un “won’t be around much longer.”
North Korea’s top diplomat responded to that Monday at the U.N., telling reporters it was a declaration of war against his country by the United States, and that the North has the right to shoot down U.S. warplanes in international airspace.
A senior administration official said Monday that the U.S. policy is not regime change. The official was not authorized to comment publicly on the issue and requested anonymity.
The U.S.-North Korea war of words escalated last week. Trump warned North Korea of total destruction and the two leaders exchanged threats and insults.