The US government has had to clarify that the country has not declared war on North Korea.
This comes as tensions rose between the two countries, partly thanks to Donald Trump calling Kim Jong Un a “rocket man” at the UN last week, and tweeting that the North Korean leader and his foreign minister “wouldn’t be around much longer”.
The North Korean foreign minister then told reporters that the president’s words had been a declaration of war and that they had the right to shoot down American warplanes in international airspace.
But the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, told journalists at the White House on Monday: “We’ve not declared war on North Korea.”
“Frankly the suggestion of that is absurd.”
And North Korea taking things as a “declaration of war” probably isn’t that serious after all, or at least it isn’t that rare.
Let's all calm down about this. I'm going to tweet out other times that North Korea has said something was a "declaration of war." https://t.co/CH88SN4Qmf— Isaac Stone Fish (@isaacstonefish) September 25, 2017
Journalist Isaac Stone Fish pointed out on Twitter that the country had taken South Korean military exercises in 2013 and US sanctions in 2016, amongst many other things, as “declarations of war” in the past.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2017
This one’s probably just a war of words then.