North Korea compares Trump’s threat to ‘dog barking’

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North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho on Wednesday downplayed U.S. President Donald Trump’s remarks at the United Nations, comparing his threat to destroy the country to “the sound of a dog barking.”

Ri, who arrived in New York City on Wednesday to attend the UN General Assembly, spoke with reporters in front of his hotel, providing North Korea’s first response to Trump’s threat a day earlier in a speech to the world community.

“If he was thinking he could scare us with the sound of a dog barking, that’s really a dog dream,” the minister said, as quoted by Yonhap. Ri was referring to a North Korean proverb that means a procession moves even if dogs bark, and a dog dream is something that is absurd and makes little sense.

Speaking at the UN on Tuesday, Trump said the denuclearization of North Korea was the only acceptable future. “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” he said.

“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” Trump added, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Asked about Trump’s repeated use of the nickname “Rocket Man,” Ri told reporters: “I feel sorry for his aides.”

The latest developments follow months of escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula, fueled by North Korea’s frequent missile tests and its advancing nuclear weapons program, as well as U.S. military exercises and threatening statements by President Donald Trump.

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