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UN Ambassador Nikki Haley: US will not strike North Korea unless it gives us a reason

"We are not going to do anything unless he [Kim Jong Un] gives us reason to do something, so our goal is not to start a fight," UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said on the possibility of striking North Korea. (Image source: YouTube screen cap)

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley appeared on NBC's "Today Show" to discuss the growing conflict between the U.S. and North Korea and the possibility of military action.

Co-host Matt Lauer asked Haley about Kim Jong Un's instability and how that would play into the conflict.

"When you have someone as unstable, seemingly, as Kim Jong Un, do you worry that words might force him into a catastrophic mistake?" Lauer asked Haley.

"No, and I think if you look at what is happening now, if there's a catastrophic mistake, it's going to be because he's just continuing to try and instigate an issue," Haley answered. "It's the reason why none of us are trying to pick a fight with him. What I can tell you is that the international community right now is very united."

Co-host Savannah Guthrie asked Haley if a pre-emptive strike against North Korea was being considered and whether President Donald Trump's administration was actively planning for such a move.

"We are not going to do anything unless he gives us reason to do something, so our goal is not to start a fight," Haley said before Guthrie asked her to clarify what kind of action would qualify as a reason to strike.

Haley responded with several examples of possible actions by North Korea that could provoke a response from the U.S.

"If you see him attack a military base, if you see some sort of intercontinental ballistic missile, then obviously we're gonna do that," Haley responded. "But right now we're saying don't test, don't use nuclear missiles, don't try and do anymore actions, and I think he's understanding that. And China's really helping us put that pressure on him."

Lauer asked Haley to clarify her remarks.

"If he tests another intercontinental ballistic missile, if he were to test another nuclear device — when you say obviously we're going to do that, do you mean military retaliation?" Lauer asked.

"I think the president steps in and decides what's going to happen," Haley concluded.

Earlier this month, North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea of Japan while the U.S. was conducting annual military drills with South Korea. Since then, the U.S. and North Korea have been engaged in a game of military chicken, exchanging threats of retaliation if the opposing party doesn't back down.

North Korea is celebrating the founding anniversary of their military on Tuesday, and South Korea has warned that Kim Jong Un may use the opportunity to flex their military muscles and carry out another missile test or even launch an intercontinental ballistic missile, which would likely provoke military action from the U.S. and other allies.

(H/T: Washington Free Beacon)

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