Date
11 December 2017
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivers remarks during a meeting Monday at the UN Security Council to discuss new sanctions on North Korea. Photo: Reuters
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivers remarks during a meeting Monday at the UN Security Council to discuss new sanctions on North Korea. Photo: Reuters

North Korea ‘begging for war’, says US

The North Korean regime is “begging for war”, the US envoy to the United Nations said on Monday, a day after Pyongyang conducted its most powerful nuclear test yet.

Speaking at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, Nikki Haley urged the 15-member bloc to impose the “strongest possible” sanctions to rein in North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-un, Reuters reports.

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

“The United States will look at every country that does business with North Korea as a country that is giving aid to their reckless and dangerous nuclear intentions,” she said.

The US will circulate a new Security Council resolution on North Korea this week and wants a vote on it next Monday, Haley said.

The comments came amid signs that the Kim Jong-un regime is undeterred by the waves of global condemnation following its hydrogen bomb test on Sunday.

South Korea warned Monday that Pyongyang appears to be making preparations to test another intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korea said on Sunday that it tested an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile on Sunday, prompting a warning from US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis of a “massive” military response if the US or its allies were threatened.

Following Pyongyang’s fresh provocation, US President Donald Trump held calls with foreign leaders, including South Korean President Moon Jae-in and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the White House declared that “all options to address the North Korean threat are on the table.”

Moon and Trump agreed in a telephone call to scrap a warhead weight limit on South Korea’s missiles, South Korea’s presidential office said, enabling it to strike North Korea with greater force in the event of a military conflict. 

Trump has previously vowed to stop North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and said he would unleash “fire and fury” if Pyongyang threatened US territory.

South Korea said on Monday that it was talking to Washington about deploying aircraft carriers and strategic bombers to the Korean peninsula.

Despite the tough talk, the immediate focus of the international response was on tougher economic sanctions.

Diplomats have said the UN Security Council could now consider banning North Korean textile exports and stop supplies of oil to the government and military, among other measures.

Asked about Trump’s threat to punish countries that trade with North Korea, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing has dedicated itself to resolving the North Korean issue via talks.

“China will never allow chaos and war on the (Korean) Peninsula,” said Liu Jieyi, the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, urging North Korea to stop taking actions that were “wrong”.

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RC

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