North Korea won't be around, warns Donald Trump

President Donald Trump at Andrew's Airforce Base. AP

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.

In a tweet reaction to claims by North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho that Trump has declared war on North Korea, the former President says war is no option at all.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho took things further. He was responding to a tweet from Trump, who said on Saturday, "Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!"

Earlier last Saturday, the Pentagon said the Air Force had sent B-1B bombers and F-15C fighters over waters north of the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas, in response to what it called the North Korean government's "reckless behavior".

It was the farthest north of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that United States fighters or bomber aircraft have ever flown this century.

"This mission is a demonstration of USA resolve and a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat", White said in a statement.

U.S. bombers have carried out similar flights before, as the United States and the worldwide community struggle to rein in North Korea's weapons programs.

He also said that Mr Trump's depiction of Kim as "Rocket Man" makes "our rocket's visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable all the more".

At a rally on Friday night in Alabama, Trump called Kim "little rocketman", magnifying the disparaging label he slung in his United Nations speech on Tuesday, in which he threatened the US would "totally destroy" North Korea in defence of itself or its allies.

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Despite Ri's strong wording, North Korea often considers the actions of other countries and worldwide bodies declarations of war. Ri said: "The question of who won't be around much longer will be answered then".

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

North Korea has said it intends to build a missile capable of striking all parts of the United States with a nuclear bomb.

The exchange of threats also included this from Trump, on Friday: "Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!"

Frustrated that China had not done more to rein in North Korea, the Trump administration considered new sanctions in July on small Chinese banks and other firms doing business with Pyongyang, two senior U.S. officials told Reuters.

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

Mr Ri had told the United Nations that Mr Trump had made an "irreversible mistake" by belittling his leader with the moniker.

"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.

Meanwhile, a shallow 3.4-magnitude tremor was detected near North Korea's nuclear test site on Saturday morning, but experts believe it was a natural quake.

A South Korea Meteorological Agency spokesman said that acoustic waves from a man-made explosion should have been detected but were not.

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