President Donald Trump address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, but it wasn’t until about two days later that a North Korean official responded to Trump’s speech, during which the President said “Rocket Man” Kim Jong Un is on a “suicide mission” and that the U.S. would “totally destroy” North Korea if need be.
North Korea has come out slinging harsh words following U.N. Security Council sanctions that ban nearly all of its exports.
On Wednesday, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said the President’s speech and threats were “the sound of a dog barking,” according to the South Korean Yonhap News Agency.
“If he was thinking he could scare us with the sound of a dog barking, that’s really a dog dream,” Ri said to reporters outside his hotel, Yonhap reported. A “dog dream” is a reference to a North Korean proverb that “a procession moves even if dogs bark,” and it is considered absurd.
Ri said, “I feel sorry for his [Trump’s] aides,” when asked about the President’s nickname for the North Korean dictator.
The foreign minister is scheduled to address the U.N. on Friday.
The most recent sanctions agains North Korea ban about 90 percent of North Korea’s exports. They were passed unanimously by the U.N. Security Council – with both China and Russia voting in favor – following North Korea’s sixth ever successful nuclear missile launch and claims that the country now has a Hydrogen bomb it can place on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The sanctions, while watered down from original drafts, fully ban the country’s textile exports and reduce its oil and petroleum exports. This means about 90 percent of North Korea’s exports are now banned, as well as a complete ban on the country’s overseas laborers that provide nearly $500 million in revenue. Additionally, all foreign investment with North Korea is cut off, and the regime’s assets will be frozen.
President Trump said Tuesday it is time for North Korea to realize that ceasing its missile program is the “only acceptable future,” but that the United States is ready to “totally destroy” the country if it continues on this path of destruction toward the U.S. or its allies.
Trump applauded the U.N. Security Council’s recent sanctions against North Korea, both of which were passed unanimously, notably with support from China and Russia. The most recent sanctions ban about 90 percent of North Korea’s exports.
But, Trump said: “We must do much more. It is time for all nations to work together to isolate the Kim regime until it ceases its hostile behavior.”
North Korea recently launched yet another missile, this one an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean.
The North Korean launch came hours after North Korea threatened to blow the United States to “ashes and darkness” and has said it will “sink” the country of Japan, following a United Nations resolution that bans 90 percent of its exports.
“We think it’s just another very small step – not a big deal. Those sanctions are nothing compared to ultimately what will have to happen,” Trump has said.
The United Nations in August unanimously approved sanctions against North Korea in response to Kim Jong Un’s two successful intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in July.
Then, North Korea threatened “thousands-fold” revenge on the United States following those sanctions, which cut North Korea’s export revenue by $1 billion, or about a third. The sanctions banned North Korea from exporting coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.
North Korea’s sixth nuclear missile test caused a 6.3 earthquake and was roughly five times as large as the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, Japan. The test came hours after North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un claimed that it now had an H-bomb to put onto its long-range ICBMs.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has said that North Korea is “begging for war,” and that it’s time for the international community to impose the strongest possible sanctions against North Korea.