AMERICAN ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has warned that “North Korea will be destroyed” if it continues down a “reckless” path of nuclear expansion and threatening the US and its allies.
The comments were made ahead of world leaders congregating at the United Nations in New York this week for the annual General Assembly meeting. US President Donald Trump will address the 193-member body for the first time.
Speaking to CNN’s State of the Nation program on Sunday, Haley said that “if North Korea keeps on with this reckless behaviour, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed.”
“We all know that. And none of us want that, none of us want war.”
On Thursday, North Korea launched a missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean in defiance of new UN sanctions which have banned the rogue state’s exportation of textiles and capped imports of crude oil. It was the second launch of a missile over Japan within a month.
Around 90 percent of Pyongyang’s publicly reported exports have now been banned.
The ambassador said that Trump’s talk of “fire and fury” was “not an empty threat” and that the US was “being responsible where North Korea is being irresponsible and reckless.”
US Secretary of Defence General James Mattis would “take care” of North Korea if required, now that all diplomatic options had been employed, said Haley.
“We have pretty much exhausted all the things that we could do at the Security Council at this point. Now, I said yesterday, I’m perfectly happy to kick this over to General Mattis because he has plenty of military options.”
“I think that the ‘fire and fury’ – while he said that this is what we can do to North Korea – we wanted to be responsible and go through all diplomatic means to get their attention first. If that doesn’t work, General Mattis will take care of it,” said Haley.
North Korea said on Saturday that it hopes to reach a level of military force at “equilibrium” with the US.