North Korea’s vice foreign minister on Friday blamed President Donald Trump for building up a “vicious cycle” of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, saying that his “aggressive” tweets were “making trouble.”
In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press in Pyongyang, Vice Minister Han Song Ryol also warned the U.S. against provoking North Korea militarily, saying, “We will go to war if they choose.”
“If the U.S. comes with reckless military maneuvers then we will confront it with the DPRK’s pre-emptive strike,” Han said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “We’ve got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a U.S. pre-emptive strike.”
Speaking through an interpreter provided by the foreign ministry, Han was calm and polite but forceful throughout the 40-minute interview. But he made clear that Trump’s Tweets were accelerating the tensions that could lead to war.