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North Korea Nukes Mean US Wouldn't Strike First, Says Lavrov

North Korea Nukes Mean US Wouldn't Strike First, Says Lavrov

US President Donald Trump dialled up the rhetoric against North Korea again at the weekend, warning its foreign minister that he and leader Kim Jong Un "won't be around much longer", as Pyongyang staged a major anti-US rally.

"None other than Trump himself is on a suicide mission".

"We do not have any intention at all to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the countries that do not join in the U.S. military actions against" North Korea, Ri said.

"He committed an irreversible mistake of making our rockets' visit to the entire US mainland inevitable all the more", he said, adding that any American lives lost as a result would be Trump's responsibility.

"This is the farthest north of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) any United States fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea's coast in the 21st century, underscoring the seriousness with which we take (North Korea's) reckless behaviour", said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White.

North Korea this month carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test.

Trump's latest diatribe came after North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho called him "mentally deranged".

"We now can't avoid the military tensions on the Korean Peninsula further escalating", said Cheong Seong-chang, a North Korea expert at the Sejong Institute, a think tank near Seoul, the South's capital.




Over the weekend, the US sent warplanes into global airspace east of North Korea, in a show of force that included B-1B Lancer bombers and F-15C Eagle fighter escorts.

"The most probable hypothesis at present is that this is a outcome of the previous event, which was of a significant magnitude and may still have repercussions in a fracture zone", Zerbo said in an interview with AFP. China at first said it suspected an explosion.

DPRK refers to the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

North Korea's latest nuclear test - its sixth to date - was detected as a 6.3 magnitude natural disaster on September 3 and was followed by a 4.1 magnitude quake that experts said could have been a tunnel collapsing after the nuclear explosion.

The foreign minister opened his brief remarks in Korean by saying that over the last few days, the U.N. and the worldwide community have clearly wished "that the war of words between the DPRK and the United States will not turn into real action".

Xi was left merely humoring Trump by agreeing to tougher sanctions at the United Nations this past week.

The sources said lenders were asked to fully implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea and were warned of the economic losses and reputational risks if they did not do so.

"At present, management of North Korea-related business has become an issue of national-level politics and national security", according to the document seen by the sources.