- US is ready to use its military force against North Korea after it tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has said.
- US prefers ‘not to go in that direction’ but a diplomatic solution is becoming less possible, she has told the UN Security Council.
- Russia and China, other Security Council members with veto power, have condemned the North Korean test but have declared themselves against the use of military power.
- US President Trump has made it clear US attempts to get China to rein in North Korea’s regime have failed.
The United States is prepared to use its “full military force” over North Korea’s latest rocket test, allegedly of an intercontinental ballistic missile, US Ambassador Nikki Haley told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
The meeting was convened on Wednesday, after the day before North Korea’s regime of Kim Jong-un carried out a new ballistic missile test, and claimed that the rocket was the much coveted intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
According to experts the newly tested North Korean ICBM is unlikely to have the capacity to deliver nuclear weapons, according to experts. South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has warned North Korea not to cross a “red line.”
The ballistic missile tested by North Korea on Tuesday traveled some 933 km (577 miles) before it fell in the Sea of the Japan, in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. It reached an altitude of some 2,300 – 2,800 km (1,430 – 1,740 miles). If launched at a standard angle, it may have traversed some 6,000 km (3,700 miles).
It is North Korea’s 12th rocket test (and ninth successful one) since US President Donald Trump assumed office in January.
Last week, a US nuclear expert warned that Kim Jong-un might be coming closer to being able to produce a hydrogen bomb, also known as thermonuclear weapon, as it is able to produce tritium, a key element.
North Korea recently carried out a new test of a rocket engine that could be used for powering an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the weapon that can threaten directly the US mainland.
On behalf of the Kim Jong-un regime, North Korea’s Ambassador to India recently offered the US a conditional moratorium on his country’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
The offer came against the backdrop of the death of US college student Otto Warmbier who passed away after 17 months in North Korean captivity, and for which Pyongyang denied responsibility, and of South Korea’s decision to suspend the further deployment of the US THAAD missile shield.
Ongoing activity and a large number of people have been spotted at North Korea’s nuclear test site, the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility, amid lingering concerns that the regime of leader Kim Jong-un could carry out its sixth nuclear test.
There have been reports that North Korea has been bracing for a preemptive US missile strike similar to the missile strike on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in response to the April 4 attack with chemical weapons.
In early June, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed new sanctions on North Korea and entities trading with it over its ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and continued violations of UN Security Council resolutions.
‘Use Them if We Must’
The US will use its “considerable military forces” on North Korea “if we must”, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday at an emergency meeting called over the North Korean ICBM test, BBC News reported.
Haley also threatened to use trade restrictions, and said the US was going to table a new resolution against Pyongyang.
North Korea’s test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Tuesday was “quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution,” the US Ambassador to the UN said.
“The United States is prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves, and our allies,” she told the UN Security Council.
“One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them, if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction,” Haley added.
The French Ambassador told the UN Security Council that France also favors a new resolution on North Korea, which would tighten sanctions.
Russia, which condemned the test, said the possibility of using military measures “should be excluded”.
China’s representative said Beijing found North Korea’s actions unacceptable but reiterated China and Russia’s joint call for the US to reverse the deployment of its THAAD missile defense system in South Korea, and for the two countries to suspend their joint military exercises close to North Korea.
Both Russia and China are permanent members of the UN Security Council and could veto any new resolution.
‘So Much for China’
Earlier, US President Donald Trump criticized China for continuing to trade with North Korea.
US Ambassador to the UN Haley, who said she had discussed the issue with the president, said the US could cut off trade with countries which continued to trade with North Korea in violation of US resolutions.
“We will look at any country that chooses to do business with this outlaw regime,” she says.
Mr Trump has arrived in Warsaw, ahead of his trip to Hamburg for the G20 summit of major economies, where he is due to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping for the second time.
The US president held talks with China’s leader Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida in April.
“So much for China working with us – but we had to give it a try!”