North Korea says Trump insult ensures attack on US mainland

Ri Yong Ho, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. (UN Photo)
Updated 24 September 2017
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North Korea says Trump insult ensures attack on US mainland

UNITED NATIONS: North Korea’s foreign minister told world leaders Saturday that US President Donald Trump’s insult calling leader Kim Jong Un “rocket man” makes “our rocket’s visit to the entire US mainland inevitable all the more.”
Ri Yong Ho called the American president “a mentally deranged person full of megalomania and complacency” with his finger on the “nuclear button.” And he said Trump’s “reckless and violent words” had provoked “the supreme dignity” of North Korea and “rendered this sacred UN arena tainted.”
Ri’s highly anticipated speech to the General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting fueled the fiery rhetoric between the US president and North Korea’s young leader.
Trump threatened in his speech to the 193-member world body on Tuesday to “totally destroy” the North if provoked. Kim, in an unusual direct statement to the world, responded pledging to take “highest-level” action against the United States.
“None other than Trump himself is on a suicide mission,” Ri told the assembly Saturday. “In case innocent lives of the US are lost because of this suicide attack, Trump will be held totally responsible.”
Ri suggested to reporters Friday in New York that his country could conduct an atmospheric hydrogen bomb test to fulfill Kim’s vow to take action. But he did not make any mention of such a test Saturday.
He did say that North Korea’s recent successful “ICBM-mountable H-bomb test” was part of the effort to complete the country’s nuclear force.
“Our national nuclear force is, to all intents and purposes, a war deterrent for putting an end to nuclear threat of the US and for preventing its military invasion,” Ri said, “and our ultimate goal is to establish the balance of power with the US“
The foreign minister’s opening remarks reflected the deep anger in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — the country’s official name — at Trump’s derisive nickname for Kim who is revered by many people in the North.
Ri said that during his eight months in power, Trump had turned the White House “into a noisy marketing place” and now he has tried to turn the United Nations “into a gangsters’ nest where money is respected and bloodshed is the order of the day.”
The North Korean minister called Trump a “gambler who grew old using threats, frauds and all other schemes to acquire a patch of land” and said he is even derided by the American people as “Commander in Grief,” “Lyin King,” and “President Evil.”
“Due to his lacking of basic common knowledge and proper sentiment, he tried to insult the supreme dignity of my country by referring it to a rocket,” Ri said. “By doing so, however, he committed an irreversible mistake of making our rockets’ visit to the entire US mainland inevitable all the more.”


Skepticism over whether Zardari will pursue united opposition

Zardari described the PTI leader as “prime minister-select.” (AFP)
Updated 53 min 18 sec ago
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Skepticism over whether Zardari will pursue united opposition

  • Pakistan Peoples Party leader, and former president, Asif Ali Zardari said on Sunday he is willing to talk to Nawaz Sharif despite political reservations
  • Some analysts believe the emergence of an opposition alliance remains unlikely for the foreseeable future

KARACHI: Senator Mushahidullah Khan, a leading figure in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, said on Monday that the actions of former president Asif Ali Zardari will show whether he is genuinely interested in forging a united opposition front against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led administration of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Zardari, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, described the PTI leader as “prime minister-select” during a news conference on Sunday. He also voiced his grievances against Nawaz Sharif but added that it was still possible to have talks with the former prime minister.
“Nawaz Sharif is responsible for whatever is happening to me today,” he said, complaining that the legal cases he faces were lodged against him under Sharif’s administration.
However, Mushahidullah Khan said that it was not the PML-N leader who was responsible for the cases against Zardari, but the corrupt practices of the former president that created a situation where he now has to face National Accountability Bureau and anti-graft tribunals.
“We may proceed toward a joint opposition against the incumbent government,” he added. “Zardari’s statement is important but it will be his conduct in the next few days that will show how seriously he wants it to happen.”
“Unlike our political faction, Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party has formed its government in the province of Sindh, so it is unlikely to join the combined opposition at the very first instance. Still, it is good that he has realized the need to join hands with the rest of the opposition to oust Imran Khan since the PTI government has a fake mandate that can be undone.”
Zarrar Khuhro, a political analyst in Karachi, said: “When Imran Khan came to power, the opposition was fragmented. Now it seems to be moving a bit closer together.
“If it suits the political interests of political parties, they will join hands against Prime Minister Imran Khan — but it will depend on the political calculations and circumstances that can change.”
Afrasiab Khattak, a senior member of the Awami National Party, said it was important to build a strong opposition alliance.
“The challenges of Pakistan have compounded,” he said. “They can only be fixed when all democratic forces join hands together and sign a new charter of democracy like they did in 2006.
“If political parties fail to play their role in the current situation, they will become irrelevant. They must unite for the sake of democracy.”
However, Mazhar Abbas, a senior political analyst, said that the emergence of a major opposition alliance is not very likely in the foreseeable future.
“The speed of fake account cases against Zardari will determine the pace of his movement toward the joint opposition,” he said. “If there will be any opposition, it will be inside the parliament and not outside of it.”
He added that the coming sessions of parliament will determine whether Zardari’s statement was anything more than just talk.
“We will see if they move any joint resolution in parliament,” he said.