N. Korea says Trump threats make rocket "visit to the U.S. mainland inevitable"

Last Updated Sep 25, 2017 8:01 AM EDT

North Korea is trying to convince other governments to condemn U.S. President Donald Trump for vowing to "totally destroy" the country in his speech to the United Nations, CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reports.

In a letter sent to foreign parliaments, North Korea called Mr. Trump's threat an "intolerable insult," North Korean state media reported, and the country's foreign minister said Mr. Trump's words made North Korea's "rocket's visit to the U.S. mainland inevitable all the more."

It was not immediately clear which governments had been sent the letter, Tracy says, but it was part of what appeared to be a new approach of trying to turn Mr. Trump's threats to destroy North Korea against him.

North Korea also used Mr. Trump's remarks as propaganda with its own people over the weekend, when the government staged a massive anti-American rally in Pyongyang. It claimed 100,000 people showed up, including a parade of marchers carrying signs with slogans such as "decisive revenge" and "death to the American imperialists." They shouted phrases such as "total destruction," according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state news service. The crowd included workers, officials and students, KCNA said.

On the same day, U.S. Air Force bombers and fighter jets flew off North Korea's east coast in a show of force the Pentagon said was intended to highlight its military options. It was the furthest north U.S. warplanes have flown so far this century.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump continued to refer to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as "little Rocket Man" amid reports that his own aides warned him not to personalize the conflict.

North Korea responded on Friday by distributing a rare statement directly from Kim. He called Trump a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard," and said his country would consider the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history."