White House: Notion US has declared war on North Korea is 'absurd'

WASHINGTON, Sept 25 (Reuters) - The North Korean foreign minister's statement that the United States has declared war on Pyongyang is "absurd," the White House said on Monday.

"We've not declared war on North Korea. Frankly, the suggestion of that is absurd," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. (Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Tim Ahmann)

Earlier on Monday, North Korea's foreign minister claimed that President Donald Trump had declared war on North Korea and that Pyongyang reserves the right to take countermeasures, including shooting down U.S. bombers even if they are not in its air space.

"The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country," Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York.

"Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country," Ri added. "The question of who won't be around much longer will be answered then."

AOL.com contributed to this report

SEE: Activists protest tension between U.S. and North Korea: 

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Activists protest North Korea / U.S. tension
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Activists wearing yellow hazard suits are seen next to a Styrofoam effigy of a nuclear bomb after protesting in front of the Brandenburg Gate near the American Embassy, on September 13, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The protests, which were organized by anti-nuclear and pro-peace groups, took place at both the North Korean and US embassies. (Photo by Omer Messinger/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Activists wearing masks to look like US President Donald Trump and North Korean Kim Jong-Un pose next to a Styrofoam effigy of a nuclear bomb while protesting in front of the Brandenburg Gate near the American Embassy on September 13, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The protests, which were organized by anti-nuclear and pro-peace groups, took place at both the North Korean and US embassies. (Photo by Omer Messinger/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Activists wearing yellow hazard suits are seen next to a Styrofoam effigy of a nuclear bomb after protesting in front of the American Embassy on September 13, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The protests, which were organized by anti-nuclear and pro-peace groups, took place at both the North Korean and US embassies. (Photo by Omer Messinger/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Activists wearing masks to look like US President Donald Trump and North Korean Kim Jong-Un pose next to a Styrofoam effigy of a nuclear bomb while protesting in front of the Brandenburg Gate near the American Embassy on September 13, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The protests, which were organized by anti-nuclear and pro-peace groups, took place at both the North Korean and US embassies. (Photo by Omer Messinger/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Activists wearing yellow hazard suits are seen next to a Styrofoam effigy of a nuclear bomb after protesting in front of the Brandenburg Gate near the American Embassy, on September 13, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The protests, which were organized by anti-nuclear and pro-peace groups, took place at both the North Korean and US embassies. (Photo by Omer Messinger/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Activists wearing masks to look like US President Donald Trump and North Korean Kim Jong-Un pose next to a Styrofoam effigy of a nuclear bomb while protesting in front of the Brandenburg Gate near the American Embassy on September 13, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The protests, which were organized by anti-nuclear and pro-peace groups, took place at both the North Korean and US embassies. (Photo by Omer Messinger/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Activists wearing yellow hazard suits are seen looking at photos on a bulletin board of the North Korean Embassy on September 13, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The protests, which were organized by anti-nuclear and pro-peace groups, took place at both the North Korean and US embassies. (Photo by Omer Messinger/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Activists wearing masks to look like US President Donald Trump and North Korean Kim Jong-Un pose next to a Styrofoam effigy of a nuclear bomb while protesting in front of the Brandenburg Gate near the American Embassy on September 13, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The protests, which were organized by anti-nuclear and pro-peace groups, took place at both the North Korean and US embassies. (Photo by Omer Messinger/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: Activists wearing masks to look like US President Donald Trump and North Korean Kim Jong-Un pose next to a Styrofoam effigy of a nuclear bomb while protesting in front of the Brandenburg Gate near the American Embassy on September 13, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The protests, which were organized by anti-nuclear and pro-peace groups, took place at both the North Korean and US embassies. (Photo by Omer Messinger/Getty Images)
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