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North Korea

North Korea likens Donald Trump to barking dog

North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho has called US President Donald Trump's speech to the UN "the sound of a dog barking." Trump had said the US may be forced to "totally destroy" North Korea.

Watch video 00:45

Trump threatens to 'totally destroy' North Korea

In the first official comments from North Korea after Trump had issued his starkest warning yet to Pyongyang, Ri said, "There is a saying that goes: 'Even when dogs bark, the parade goes on.'"

Ri told reporters near the UN headquarters in New York, "If they are trying to shock us with the sound of a dog's bark they are clearly having a dog dream."

Asked by reporters what he thought of Trump calling North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "rocket man," Ri said, "I feel sorry for his aides."

Ri is expected to make a UN speech on Friday.

Trump's bluff

Trump used his maiden address at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday to warn the North that Washington would "totally destroy" it if the US or its allies were attacked, a position that has caused dismay among US allies, including Germany, as well as China, the North's key ally.

"Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime," he added.

The speech came after months of tensions over advances in the rogue weapons program operated by Pyongyang.

The North has defied sanctions to launch its sixth and largest nuclear test and to fire a series of missiles over Japan in recent weeks.    

Its stated aim is to be able to target the US mainland and in September tested what it said was a miniaturized H-bomb capable of being loaded onto a rocket.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the UN that dialogue with the North would not work. Japan is also within range of missile strikes, while the North itself has a population of millions ensnared by the Pyongyang regime.

Watch video 02:21

Angela Merkel offers to liaise in North Korea crisis

jbh/rc (Reuters, AFP)

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