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
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.
“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.”
Full coverage: North Korea's sixth nuclear test
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).
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.”
The call was one of a number of conversations Monday between wo