Trump says Merkel doesn’t speak for US on NKorea

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the North Korea crisis (all times EDT):

4:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump says German Chancellor Angela Merkel does not speak for the U.S. on North Korea.

Merkel has said of Trump’s provocative warnings to the communist nation that “escalating the rhetoric is the wrong answer.”

Trump on Friday replied: “Let her speak for Germany,” adding, “She’s certainly not referring to the United States.”

The U.S. president’s warnings that Pyongyang will “regret” any threats or action against the U.S. are a break with the diplomatic language of his predecessors. But Trump said Friday that millions of Americans support their president “sticking up” for the U.S. and its allies.

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3:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump says his critics are only complaining about his tough rhetoric on North Korea “because it’s me.”

He says days of grave threats to the communist country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, would be welcomed as “a great statement” if “somebody else” uttered them.

Trump adds that millions of Americans support his words because “finally we have a president that’s sticking up for our nation and frankly sticking up for our friends and our allies.”

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3:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump says North Korea’s leader will “regret it fast” if he threatens or acts against Guam, or any other U.S. territory or ally.

Trump says tens of millions of Americans support his tough position on North Korea’s nuclear threat.

Following days of grave threats to North Korea, Trump directed his latest warning Friday directly to the communist country’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

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1:10 p.m.

An escalating exchange of provocative rhetoric between the United States and North Korea is alarming international leaders. Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, estimated the risk of a military conflict between the U.S. and North Korea as “very high,” and said Moscow is deeply concerned.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel declined to say whether Germany would stand with the U.S. in case of a military conflict with North Korea. She called on the U.N. Security Council to continue to address the issue.

Japan has started deploying land-based Patriot interceptors after North Korea threatened to send ballistic missiles flying over western Japan and landing near Guam.

Meanwhile, American and South Korean officials said they would move forward with large-scale military exercises later this month that North Korea claims are a rehearsal for war.

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12:45 p.m.

A Democratic congressman is urging House Speaker Paul Ryan…

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