WORLD US says trade its cho­sen weapon

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

THE US vowed yes­ter­day to use mil­i­tary force to de­fend the coun­try and its al­lies against a North Korean in­tercon­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile if nec­es­sary, but said it pre­ferred to use its clout in in­ter­na­tional trade to ad­dress the grow­ing threat.

In a hard- hit­ting speech at an emer­gency meet­ing of the UN Se­cu­rity Council fol­low­ing Py­ongyang’s suc­cess­ful launch of an ICBM, US Am­bas­sador Nikki Ha­ley said that “the world has be­come a more dan­ger­ous place” and China has a key role in pro­mot­ing peace.

China is re­spon­si­ble for 90 per cent of trade with North Korea and Ms Ha­ley warned Bei­jing risks its mas­sive trade with the US if its busi­ness deal­ings with Py­ongyang vi­o­late UN sanc­tions.

She said the US did not seek con­flict – “in fact we seek to avoid it”. But she said the launch of an ICBM “is a clear and sharp mil­i­tary es­ca­la­tion” and the US was pre­pared to use its “con­sid­er­able mil­i­tary forces” to de­fend it­self and its al­lies “if we must”.

But Ms Ha­ley said the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion pre­ferred “not to go in that di­rec­tion” but to use its “great ca­pa­bil­i­ties in the area of trade” to ad­dress “those who threaten us and ... those who sup­ply the threats”.

China’s UN am­bas­sador, Liu Jieyi, did not re­spond to Ms Ha­ley. In­stead, he strongly urged North Korea to stop “any rhetoric and ac­tion that might fur­ther ex­ac­er­bate the ten­sion of the Korean Penin­sula”. Mr Trump has ex­pressed grow­ing ir­ri­ta­tion at Bei­jing’s re­luc­tance to tighten the screws on Py­ongyang over its nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grams.

“There are coun­tries that are al­low­ing, even en­cour­ag­ing trade with North Korea, in vi­o­la­tion of UN Se­cu­rity Council res­o­lu­tions,” Ms Ha­ley said.

“Such coun­tries would also like to con­tinue their trade ar­range­ments with the United States. That’s not go­ing to hap­pen. Our at­ti­tude on trade changes when coun­tries do not take in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity threats se­ri­ously.”

Rus­sian Deputy Am­bas­sador Vladimir Safronkov echoed the call for “re­straint rather than provo­ca­tion and war­mon­ger­ing”.

Ms Ha­ley said the seven UN sanc­tions res­o­lu­tions had not got North Korea to change its “de­struc­tive course,” and she stressed that much of the bur­den of en­forc­ing the res­o­lu­tions rested with China be­cause of its over­whelm­ing trade with its neigh­bour.

She said the US would put for­ward a new Se­cu­rity Council res­o­lu­tion in com­ing days.

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