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White House denies North Korea’s "absurd" war claim

The White House moved to calm simmering tensions with North Korea Monday, calling Pyongyang’s claim that Donald Trump had declared war via Twitter “absurd.”

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the U.S. had “not declared war,” despite claims from Pyongyang to the contrary following the president’s Sunday tweet.

“Frankly the suggestion of that is absurd,” she added, offering a more measured tone than her boss – who last week decried North Korea’s leader as a “madman.”

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Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said Monday the tweet gave his country the right to attack U.S. bombers near the Korean Peninsula, and said the question of which country would be around much longer would be answered “soon.”

A U.N. spokesman said such fiery talk could lead to fatal misunderstandings.

Twitter finally responded Monday to mounting questions as to why Trump’s “threatening” tweet was not removed in accordance with its guidelines. The network said the post was allowed because of its “newsworthiness.”

The company added it was updating its policy in this area and would “consider a number of factors when assessing whether tweets violate our rules.” At the moment, Twitter’s terms of service forbid the making of violent threats. Any accounts that engage in such behaviour may be removed or subject to temporary suspension.