Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Haley: US will 'tighten the screws' on North Korean nuclear program

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley
Christy Curtis | 18 May, 2017, 10:02

President Moon Jae-in's special envoys to the United States and Japan are departing the country today to lay the groundwork of relations between the two countries and South Korea's new administration. It conducted its latest ballistic missile launch, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, on Sunday which it said was a test of its capability to carry a "large-size heavy nuclear warhead", drawing Security Council condemnation.

Flanked by ambassadors from Japan and South Korea, Haley reiterated the USA position that it is willing to engage in talks with Kim's regime if it abandons its nuclear aspirations.

Haley says the US and China have been working on "a unified plan" on North Korea that would include new sanctions and she predicts a new United Nations resolution will move forward following the weekend launch.

Pyongyang has even strained ties with former ally China, which has asked the North to rein in its weapons activities; it launched a missile test on Sunday as Chinese President Xi Jinping prepared to host a summit showcasing the One Belt, One Road initiative created to expand trade throughout the Asian continent. "If you are a country that is supplying or supporting North Korea we will call you out on it, we will make sure that everyone knows who you are and we will target sanctions toward you as well". "The reality is that there is a high possibility of a military conflict at the NLL (Northern Limit Line) and military demarcation line", Moon was quoted as saying by the presidential Blue House. He also said the North's nuclear and missile capabilities seem to have advanced rapidly recently but that the South was ready and capable of striking back should the North attack.

"We are going to send a very strong, unified message to North Korea", Haley said on Tuesday. But he has said that North Korea must change its attitude of insisting on pressing ahead with its arms development before dialogue is possible. China has strongly opposed THAAD, saying it can spy into its territory, and South Korean companies have been hit in China by a nationalist backlash over the deployment.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says North Korea is intimidating the worldwide community with its nuclear program, military ability and cyberattacks.

North Korea is continuing its development of a missile capable of striking the USA mainland, despite United Nations sanctions and worldwide calls for denuclearization.

He also obliquely criticized China for throwing up obstacles to the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, where Beijing has constructed island bases in the disputed waters, saying "we should fly, be able to fly, sail and operate wherever worldwide law allows".

Earlier this month naval exercises were conducted in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, with South Korean and Japanese aircraft also taking part.

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