U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Monday that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is “begging for war” as she urged the United Nations Security Council to use their strongest sanctions to halt Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.
The New York Times reported that Haley’s comments came the day after North Korea’s “most powerful nuclear test,” and just hours after South Korean officials warned that the Hermit Kingdom may be preparing to launch another ballistic missile in celebration of an upcoming North Korean holiday. The tests followed North Korea’s recent threats against Guam, an American territory.
In remarks to the Security Council on Monday, Haley cited examples of North Korean efforts to defy the council’s efforts to stop the country’s nuclear program, and said “enough is enough.”
“Members of this Council will no doubt urge negotiations and a return to talks. But as I have just outlined, we have engaged in numerous direct and multilateral talks with the North Korean regime, and time after time, they have not worked,” Haley said. “The time for half measures in the Security Council is over. The time has come to exhaust all of our diplomatic means, before it’s too late. We must now adopt the strongest possible measures.”
Haley said that Kim Jong Un’s actions “cannot be seen as defensive,” and he is seeking “to be acknowledged as a nuclear power.”
“But being a nuclear power is not about using those terrible weapons to threaten others,” Haley said. “Nuclear powers understand their responsibilities. Kim Jong Un shows no such understanding. His abusive use of missiles, and his nuclear threats show that he is begging for war. War is never something the United States wants. We don’t want it now. But our country’s patience is not unlimited. We will defend our allies and our territory.”
Haley said “the time has come to exhaust all diplomatic means to end this crisis, and that means quickly enacting the strongest possible measures here in the U.N. Security Council.
“Only the strongest sanctions will enable us to resolve this problem through diplomacy,” she said. “We have kicked the can down the road long enough. There is no more road left.”
Haley warned that “the United States will look at every country that does business with North Korea as a country that is giving aid to their reckless and dangerous nuclear intentions.”
“The stakes could not be higher,” she said. “The urgency is now.”
The Los Angeles Times noted that sanctions targeting North Korea’s business partners are unlikely to be approved since China, a member of the Security Council, “accounts for 80% of North Korea’s trade.”