Story highlights

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said North Korea was "begging for war"

Haley spoke at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council

CNN  — 

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Monday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was “begging for war” as she urged the UN Security Council to adopt the strongest sanctions measures possible to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

Speaking at a Security Council emergency meeting, Haley said North Korea’s sixth nuclear test was a clear sign that “the time for half measures” from the UN had to end.

“Enough is enough,” Haley said. “We have taken an incremental approach, and despite the best of intentions, it has not worked.”

Haley began her statement by ticking through all of the resolutions the Security Council has passed in response to North Korea’s provocations over the past two-plus decades, making the point that the UN has been united condemning Pyongyang but the efforts have not managed to stop its nuclear progress.

She said the US does not want war but will defend itself when North Korea is issuing threats with missiles pointed at US territories.

People watch a TV news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, Sunday, September 3, 2017, showing North Korea's announcement that it conducted an underground hydrogen bomb test.
What is Kim thinking after nuke test?
01:02 - Source: CNN

“War is never something the Unites States wants – we don’t want it now,” Haley said. “But our country’s patience is not unlimited. We will defend our allies and our territory.”

At the conclusion of the meeting, Haley said that the US would circulate a resolution in response to the nuclear test, with plans for a vote on it next week.

“I think that North Korea has basically slapped everyone in the face in the international community that has asked them to stop,” Haley said.

While details of a resolution weren’t discussed on Monday, South Korea’s Ambassador to the UN Cho Tae-yul said it had to be “truly biting.”

“Now is the time to take measures that are strong and robust enough to compel North Korea to seriously engage in dialogue,” he said. “The new resolution must include not only additional measures to further block funds that could possibly flow into North Korea’s illegal nuclear program, but also truly biting and robust measures that Pyongyang finds very painful.”

South Korea’s response

South Korea launched a major military show of force on Monday in response to the latest nuclear test from the North, including live-fire drills simulating an attack on Pyongyang’s nuclear testing site.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry said Monday the drills were intended to demonstrate Seoul’s willingness to “wipe out” the regime of Kim Jong Un, while South Korean defense officials also noted there were signs North Korea was preparing for another launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, South Korea's Hyunmoo II ballistic missile is fired during an exercise at an undisclosed location in South Korea, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017.
South Korea's fiery message to Kim Jong Un
01:19 - Source: CNN

Seoul said that it would activate four Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launch pads, the US missile defense system intended to shoot down shorter range missile targeting the South.

The THAAD deployment, however, has sparked criticisms from Russia and China, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Monday that Moscow might increase its missile presence in the Pacific to respond to the THAAD deployment. Neither Russia nor China mentioned the missile defense deployment at the Security Council meeting, however.

Leaders discussing next steps

US President Donald Trump had a 40-minute phone call Monday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, according to Park Soo-hyun, a spokesman for South Korea’s presidential office. They discussed responses to North Korea’s nuclear test and agreed to lift restrictions on the payload weight of South Korea’s ballistic missiles.

The phone call came after Trump issued a tweet Sunday criticizing the new South Korean leader’s approach to North Korea. “South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!” Trump wrote.

The White House statement on the call noted the lifting of payload restrictions on South Korean missiles, as well as Trump providing his “conceptual approval for the purchase of many billions of dollars’ worth of military weapons and equipment from the United States by South Korea.”

US President Donald Trump (C), Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in pose for photos before attending the Northeast Asia Security Dinner at the US Consulate General Hamburg on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 6, 2017. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Possible rift between US and South Korea
02:20 - Source: CNN

The call was one of a number of conversations Monday between world leaders in the wake of North Korea’s nuclear test.

Moon also spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which Seoul said the two leaders discussed cutting off Pyongyang’s crude oil supplies and sources for foreign currency.

And Trump also spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday. Merkel’s spokesman said the German leader confirmed to Trump that Germany would work with the European Union for new and stricter sanctions against North Korea.

US, China tensions over Pyongyang

Monday’s Security Council meeting was convened in response to North Korea’s latest nuclear test, but it’s the 10th time that the council has met on North Korea this year – and the second time in less than a week, according to Jeffrey Feltman, UN undersecretary for political affairs.

In addition to his appeasement tweet, Trump has said in recent days that “talking is not the answer,” and Defense Secretary James Mattis warned on Sunday of a “massive military response” to any threat from North Korea against the US or its allies.

CAPTION: Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, flew from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for a 10-hour mission, flying in the vicinity of Kyushu, Japan, the East China Sea, and the Korean peninsula, Aug. 7, 2017 (HST). During the mission, the B-1s were joined by Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15s as well as Republic of Korea Air Force KF-16 fighter jets, performing two sequential bilateral missions. These flights with Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) demonstrate solidarity between Japan, ROK and the U.S. to defend against provocative and destabilizing actions in the Pacific theater. (Courtesy photo)
US weighs options against North Korea
02:30 - Source: CNN

But Trump has also targeted China as complicit in allowing North Korea’s nuclear program to march on. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that the US was considering “stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea,” which would include China.

At the UN meeting Monday, Chinese Ambassador to the UN Liu Jieyi said the situation was “falling into a vicious circle” and urged North Korea to “stop taking actions that are wrong.”

“We strongly urge the DPRK to face up squarely to the firm will of the international community on the issue of the denuclearization of the peninsula and earnestly abide by the relevant resolutions of the council.”

At the same time, Liu cautioned against any military option.

“The peninsula issue must be resolved peacefully,” he said. “China will never allow chaos and war on the peninsula.”

North Korea's rapid advances in technology
02:28 - Source: CNN

Liu touted a proposal from China and Russia of a “suspension for suspension,” also known as “freeze for freeze,” where Pyongyang would freeze its nuclear program in exchange for the US and South Korea suspending joint military exercises.

But before he spoke, Haley called such a proposal “insulting.”

“The idea that some have suggested a so-called ‘freeze for freeze’ is insulting,” she said. “When a rogue regime has a nuclear weapon and an ICBM pointed at you, you do not take steps to lower your guard. No one would do that. We certainly won’t.”

Asked after the Security Council meeting about Haley’s “insulting” comment, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia told reporters he was “wondering” what was insulting about their proposal.

“This is the only proposal for a political way out,” Nebenzia said.

Haley also indirectly called out China for its trade with North Korea, saying the United States would look at every country that does business with Pyongyang “as a country that is giving aid to their reckless and dangerous intentions.”

She said that quickly enacting the strongest possible sanctions in the Security Council was the only way to resolve the issue diplomatically.

“We’ve kicked the can down the road long enough,” Haley said. “There is no more road left.”

CNN’s K.J. Kwon contributed reporting