The US today warned the North Korean regime that it would be “utterly destroyed” if a standoff over its missile tests leads to a war and asked all countries to sever economic and diplomatic ties with Pyongyang to curb its nuclear programme. Speaking at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss North Korea’s latest missile launch, US ambassador to the world body Nikki Haley said Pyongyang had brought the world closer to war with its latest test of a ballistic missile capable of striking the US mainland, its most advanced yet. The missile was launched from Sain Ni, North Korea on Tuesday, and travelled about 1,000 km before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, within Japan’s Economic Exclusion Zone.
“If war does come, it will be because of continued acts of aggression like we witnessed yesterday. And if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed,” Haley said. “The dictator of North Korea made a choice yesterday that brings the world closer to war, not farther from it. We have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it,” she said. The US along with Japan and South Korea had called for an emergency meeting of the Security Council after North Korea’s missile launch.
US President Donald Trump yesterday spoke by telephone with Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose country is an economic lifeline for North Korea, and asked him to put more pressure on Pyongyang. Trump also asked Xi to cut off China’s crude oil supplies to North Korea.
In a tweet after the call, Trump said more punitive sanctions were around the corner. “As successful as we have been in levelling multilateral sanctions against it, the North Korean regime continues to test new and more powerful missiles. And as it does, it continues its march toward a functional nuclear arsenal,” Haley said. She said the development of North Korea’s missile systems demanded that countries further isolate the regime of Kim Jong Un. “So today, we call on all nations to cut off all ties with North Korea. In addition to fully implementing all UN sanctions, all countries should sever diplomatic relations with North Korea and limit military, scientific, technical, or commercial cooperation. They must also cut off trade with the regime by stopping all imports and exports and expel all North Korean workers,” she demanded.
The British Ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, said that the latest missile launch follows 19 previous launches this year, and North Korea’s sixth nuclear test in September. “The latest violation demonstrates, once more, North Korea’s disregard for our collective security and the international obligations, that all of us, as law-abiding states, take upon ourselves,” he said. The latest North Korean missile launch is a dangerous provocation, he said. “It demonstrates that all of our Security Council interests are at stake, and this is not just an issue for one region of the world. This affects the whole world now. So the whole world needs to come together in response,” said the British Ambassador. Presiding over the meeting, the Italian Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, who is the Security Council President for the month of November, strongly condemned the North Korean missile test.