Donald Trump
North Korea’s Kim Jong-un regime and US President Donald Trump are engaged in a war of words Reuters

North Korea has labelled US President Donald Trump a "war merchant and strangler of peace". Pyongyang also said the "war maniac" American leader is attempting to "make money" from the tensions in the Korean peninsula.

Tensions in the region have constantly escalated in recent months with the North relentlessly expanding its nuclear and missile programmes. Pyongyang's latest diatribe comes in the wake of the US dispatching its powerful and strategic military assets to the Korean peninsula to carry out drills.

"Many countries are engaged in arms sales, but the US is abusing it for world domination beyond commercial purposes," said a report in the North Korean state newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

"What merits a serious attention is that war maniac Trump betrayed his intention to make money through the tension on the peninsula reaching an extreme phase."

America's sale of weapons to South Korea and Japan has worsened the atmosphere in the region and created a "hair trigger situation", added the North Korean dispatch.

"Trump called for total destruction of our state and people at the UN arena and continues to bring nuclear strategic assets into South Korea and its vicinity, pushing the situation on the peninsula to the brink of war," Rodong Sinmun said.

In a separate commentary carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the North warned Australia against its "dangerous" moves in joining hands with the US. Citing the recent visits of Australian defence and foreign ministers, Pyongyang said a "disaster" awaits Australia if it does not scale down its support to the US.

"Lately, Australia is showing dangerous moves of zealously joining the frenzied political and military provocations of the US against the DPRK while these provocations aggravate the situation of the Korean peninsula into a touch-and-go phase," said the KCNA report.