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Seoul urges United States to avoid 'further escalation' with Pyongyang after belligerent statements by both sides

Washington: South Korea urged the United States to help dial down tensions with the North, after Pyongyang accused President Donald Trump of declaring war.

"It is very likely that North Korea will conduct further provocations," South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha said in a speech in Washington yesterday.

"It is imperative that we, Korea and the US together, manage the situation... in order to prevent further escalation of tensions or any kind of accidental military clashes which can quickly go out of control."

North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that a weekend tweet by US president Donald Trump was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down US bombers, even in international airspace.

It was the latest escalation in a week of undiplomatic exchanges between North Korea and the US during the UN General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting.

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters that the United Nations and the international community have said in recent days that they didn't want "the war of words" to turn into "real action."

But he said that by tweeting that North Korea's leadership led by Kim Jong-un "won't be around much longer," Trump "declared the war on our country."

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Sep 26, 2017 09:06:00 IST