The Associated Press reports: The Trump administration clarified Monday that it’s not seeking to overthrow North Korea’s government after the president tweeted that Kim Jong Un “won’t be around much longer” and Pyongyang interpreted it as a declaration of war.
Ratcheting up the rhetoric further, the North’s top diplomat also argued Monday that Trump’s comment gives it the right to shoot down U.S. warplanes in international airspace.
Trump’s Saturday tweet said: “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!” Trump also used “rocket man” for Kim in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly last week.
While the comments may be read as an implicit threat to eliminate Kim, a senior administration official said Washington hadn’t changed its policy. American efforts in North Korea aren’t aimed at regime change, said the official, who wasn’t authorized to comment publicly on the issue and requested anonymity. [Continue reading…]