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North Korea: Trump 'begged for war' during Asia trip

CNN logo CNN 11/11/2017 By Faith Karimi, CNN
a man wearing a suit and tie © Photo Illustration/ STR/AFP/Getty Images

North Korea lashed out at US President Donald Trump again Saturday, describing him as a "destroyer" who "begged for nuclear war" during his tour of Asia.

"His current trip to our surrounding region is a warmonger's visit for confrontation to rid the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) of its self-defensive nuclear deterrence," North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on state media, Korean Central News Agency.

Trump is in Vietnam as part of a nearly two-week tour of Asia, and North Korea's nuclear weapons program has been a major talking point with his Japanese, South Korean and Chinese counterparts.

"The weapons you are acquiring are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger," Trump said about North Korea during an address at South Korea's National Assembly in Seoul. "Every step you take down this dark path increases the peril you face."

He called on nations to stop financing and trading with North Korea.

"Together we have in our power to finally liberate this region and the world from this very serious nuclear menace, but it will require collective action, collective strength and collective devotion to winning the peace," Trump said.

North Korean officials, who said they'd be watching the visit, were quick to fire back Saturday. Pyongyang described Trump's trip as "nothing but a business trip by a warmonger to enrich the monopolies of the US defense industry."

It referred to Trump as dotard, a word the reclusive nation has used on him in the past. Trump has previously derided North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as "rocket man."

The harsh words between the leaders have escalated in recent months after North Korea threatened to launch missiles toward the US territory of Guam.

Trump has warned the isolated regime would "face fire and fury like the world has never seen." 

During his trip to Asia, Trump attempted a symbolic stare-down of Kim this week at the heavily fortified border that separates North and South Korea. But heavy fog forced the cancellation of Trump's plans, and he was forced to turn back.

CNN's Andreena Narayan and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report

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