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(2nd LD) N. Korean FM threatens 'merciless preventive action' against U.S.

All Headlines 04:59 September 24, 2017

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SEOUL, Sept 24 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's foreign minister lambasted U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday, saying he made its "rockets' visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable" by calling leader Kim Jong-un "rocket man" and threatening to destroy the North.

In an address to the United Nations General Assembly, Ri Yong-ho said North Korea will take "merciless preventive action" if the U.S. shows any sign of "decapitating operation on our headquarters or military attack against our country."

He called Trump a "mentally deranged person full of megalomania and complaisance."

"None other than Trump himself is on a suicide mission. In case innocent lives of the U.S. are harmed because of this suicide attack, Trump will be held totally responsible."

In his address to the U.N. on Tuesday, Trump said the U.S. will "totally destroy" North Korea if the U.S. was forced to defend itself or its allies against a North Korean attack.

The North Korean leader responded saying Trump would "pay dearly" for the threat and Ri told reporters Friday that it could conduct the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific.

The top diplomat of Pyongyang rejected the latest U.N. sanctions over its sixth nuclear test as "unjustifiable."

Trump holding the nuclear button is the "gravest threat to international peace" and North Korea was left with no other choice but to respond with the "nuclear hammer of justice," he added.

"Through such a prolonged and arduous struggle, now we are finally only a few steps away from the final gate of completion of the state nuclear force," Ri said.

He said the North's ultimate goal is to establish the balance of power with the U.S. "Our national nuclear force is a war deterrent for putting an end to the nuclear threat of the U.S. and for preventing its military invasion," he said.
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