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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left waves as North Korean military officers clap during a mass meeting of North Korea's ruling party at a stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea on Saturday April 14, 2012. North Korea will mark the 100-year birth anniversary of the late leader Kim Il Sung on Sunday April 15. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

The White House insisted the US has 'not declared war' on North Korea



The White House pushed back against claims made by North Korea Monday, asserting President Donald Trump had not "declared war" on North Korea.

Speaking at the daily press briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders sought to clarify that Trump -- despite recent rhetoric -- had no intention of pursuing military action against the nation.

"Frankly, the suggestion of that is absurd," Sanders added.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted that Kim Jong Un "won't be around much longer;" a statement Pyongyang took to mean the United States was pursuing a regime change.

"Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N.," the full tweet stated. "If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!"

North Korea's foreign minister also stated Monday that the comment gave North Korea the right to shoot down U.S. warplanes in international airspace.

Cabinet officials quickly pushed back, insisting U.S. diplomatic and economic pressure on the nation is targeted at slowing the state's nuclear weapons development rather than its government.

The more Trump distorts the message, however, the harder it may be to maintain ties with allies China and Russia, also pursuing a diplomatic solution to the missile crisis.

This report was provided by Eleanor Mueller of Sinclair Broadcast Group.

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