North Korean foreign minister to address UN on Saturday

PUBLISHED Fri, September 22, 2017 - 8:49pm EDT
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho at the UN in 2016 (Credit: UN/Cia Pak)

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Saturday amid rising tensions with the United States, the UN said on Friday.

A schedule for Saturday's session was released on Friday, confirming that a representative from North Korea will deliver remarks. No exact time was given but the schedule said North Korea's representative will be the 10th speaker during the morning session.

It had been unclear when Ri would deliver his remarks, although news reports had previously indicated that the foreign minister would address the body on Friday. South Korea's Yonhap news agency, citing sources, reported on Thursday that Ri's speech had been postponed for unknown reasons.

Ri will address the international community after months of rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula. fueled by North Korea's frequent missile tests and its advancing nuclear weapons program, as well as U.S. military exercises and threatening statements made by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump addressed the UN on Tuesday and said the denuclearization of North Korea was the only acceptable future. "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea," he said.

Trump, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, added: "Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime."

The speech prompted Kim to release his own statement, condemning Trump as "mentally deranged" and vowing to respond his "unethical" threat to destroy North Korea. Ri, who arrived in New York on Wednesday, told reporters that a possible response could include a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific.

  New York, NY     





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