Report: North Korea says Trump has 'lit the wick of war'


MOSCOW, Oct 11 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has "lit the wick of war" with North Korea and his country will be made to pay with "a hail of fire," a Russian news agency quoted North Korea's foreign minister as saying on Wednesday.

Tensions between North Korea and the United States have risen in recent weeks over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs.

SEE ALSO: Mattis warned the military to 'be ready' for what Trump decides to do about North Korea

North Korea has test-fired several missiles and conducted what it said was a test explosion of a hydrogen bomb as it advances toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.

Speaking to Russia's state-run TASS news agency, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said his country's nuclear program guaranteed peace and safety in the region and would not be a matter of discussion.

"With his bellicose and insane statement at the United Nations, Trump, you can say, has lit the wick of a war against us," TASS quoted Ri as saying. "We need to settle the final score, only with a hail of fire, not words."

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Activists protest North Korea / U.S. tension
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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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Ri has previously called Trump "President Evil" and his comments are likely to fuel an escalating war of words between the U.S. President and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"We have almost reached the last point on the journey towards our final goal - to achieve a real balance of power with the United States," he said.

"Our principal position is that we will never agree to any talks in which our nuclear weapons will be the subject of negotiations." (Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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