(CNSNews.com) – The U.S. does not seek a war on the Korean peninsula, but if one breaks out, “the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley warned Wednesday.
Addressing an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council, Haley said Pyongyang’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test brings North Korea and the U.S. “closer to war.”
“We have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it,” she said. “If war does come, it will be because of continued acts of aggression like we witnessed yesterday.”
“And if war comes,” Haley said, “make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.”
The ICBM launched early Wednesday local time with a lofted trajectory flew higher than any previous one test-fired by North Korea.
Some experts estimate that the projectile, identified by the regime as a Hwasong-15, has the capability to reach the continental United States, although that would be dependent on payload weight. Pyongyang claimed Wednesday that the missile was “tipped with super-large heavy warhead which is capable of striking the whole mainland of the U.S.”
Haley recalled her previous warning – delivered as the Security Council imposed sanctions last September – that North Korea’s future lay in the hands of its leaders, and that the choice was theirs.
She said the latest missile launch indicated that its leadership had made a choice.
“It chose to feed its nuclear aggression. It chose to thumb its nose at the civilized world,” she said. “It chose to challenge the patience of a world united against its recklessness.”
“And with this choice comes a critical decision point for the rest of the world,” Haley added. “Today we call on all nations to cut off all ties with North Korea.”