(CNSNews.com) – President Donald Trump pushed back Tuesday on the North Korean foreign minister’s claim that the president has declared war on North Korea, characterizing his remarks at the United Nations as a “reply” to Kim Jong Un’s provocation, “not an original statement.”
During a joint press conference with Spanish President Mariano Rajoy, Trump was asked about the foreign minister’s statement and threat that Pyongyang would shoot at U.S. planes flying in international airspace.
“The foreign minister said you have declared, effectively, war on North Korea, and the North Korean government has threatened to shoot down or aim at American planes flying in international airspace. I would like your reaction to that,” CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett asked.
“We’re totally prepared for the second option – not a preferred option, but if we take that option, it will be devastating –I can tell you that — devastating for North Korea. That’s called the military option. If we have to take it, we will,” the president responded.
“He’s acting very badly. He’s saying things that should never, ever be said, and we’re replying to those things, but it’s a reply. It’s not an original statement. It’s a reply, but the things that he said over the last year — and if you look back, the things that he said to past administrations — North Korea is a situation that should have been handled 25 years ago, 20 years ago, 15 years ago, 10 years ago, and five years ago, and it could have been handled much more easily,” he said.
“You had various administrations — many administrations which left me a mess, but I’ll fix the mess. So we’ll see what happens with North Korea,” Trump said.