(CNSNews.com) – The United States will use its “considerable military forces” if it must, to defend itself and its allies from the threat posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea and its ballistic missiles, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley warned on Wednesday.
It would prefer not to do so, she told the U.N. Security Council, adding that the U.S. has “other methods of addressing those who threaten us and of addressing those who supply the threats.”
Responding to Pyongyang’s July 4 intercontinental ballistic missile test, Haley announced that the U.S. will present a new draft Security Council resolution which, she said, will raise the international response to its provocations to a level that is proportionate to the escalation.
She signaled possible options, including cutting off sources of hard currency, restricting the flow of oil to military and weapons programs, increasing air and maritime restrictions, and holding senior officials in the regime accountable.
Haley said North Korea’s actions pose a threat to the U.S. and its allies in the region, and to the whole world.
“The North Korean regime openly states that its missiles are intended to deliver nuclear weapons to strike cities in the United States, South Korea, and Japan. And now it has a greater capacity to do so,” she told the council.
“In truth, it is not only the United States and our allies that are threatened. North Korea’s destabilizing escalation is a threat to all nations in the region and beyond,” Haley continued. “Their actions are quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution.”
Haley did not limit her criticism to Kim Jong-un’s regime, but also hit out at countries that do business with it, warning that continuing to do so would cost them trade ties with the U.S.
“There are countries that are allowing – even encouraging – trade with North Korea in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions,” she said. “Such countries would also like to continue their trade arrangements with the United States; that’s not going to happen.”
Haley noted that China accounts for 90 percent of foreign trade with North Korea.
“We will work with China,” she said. “We will work with any and every country that believes in peace. But we will not repeat the inadequate approaches of the past that have brought us to this dark day.”
Haley also implicitly warned other members of the Security Council not to try to weaken the draft that the U.S. intends to put forward.
“We will not have patience for stalling or talking our way down to a watered-down resolution,” she said.
China and Russia have historically been the ones to oppose tough language in U.N. resolutions relating to North Korea.
After North Korea for the first time tested a nuclear weapon in 2006, the council took five days to agree on a legally-binding resolution demanding an end to its missile and nuclear tests.
A North Korean long-range missile test in April 2009 brought further quibbling in New York from China and Russia, who backed North Korea’s claim that the launch sent a satellite into orbit and therefore did not amount to a missile test. A week of deliberations resulted in a condemnatory but non-binding statement.
Less than two months later, Pyongyang carried out its second nuclear test (it has since then conducted three more), and it took the Security Council a full 18 days to negotiate a resolution in response.
President Trump is due to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany beginning on Friday.
Also attending are the leaders of South Korea and Japan, the U.S. treaty allies most directly threatened by Pyongyang’s belligerence.
Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold a trilateral meeting on the G20 sidelines to discuss the escalation on the Korean peninsula, the Japanese government said this week.
Meanwhile North Korean media outlets continue to eulogize Tuesday’s ICBM launch
An editorial posted on the Uriminzokkiri propaganda website said the missile had taken off in “a lava-like pillar of fire” and, describing the joyful mood at the launch area, said it was “boiling like a fireplace with a passion, and a passion that could not be named.”
It said Kim Jong-un had told the nation that it was time to direct its attention towards America “which ignores our warnings and tests our will,” adding that the long battle with the U.S. had entered a final stage.