TIME FOR TALK

No point in hold­ing fruit­less Se­cu­rity Coun­cil ses­sion, says US en­voy to UN

New Straits Times - - World -

WASH­ING­TON

THE United States said on Sun­day the time for talk over North Korea was “over”, spurn­ing a United Na­tions re­sponse to Py­ongyang’s lat­est in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile (ICBM) launch in favour of bomber flights and mis­sile de­fence sys­tem tests.

Nikki Ha­ley, the US en­voy to the UN, said there was “no point” in hold­ing a fruit­less emer­gency Se­cu­rity Coun­cil ses­sion, warn­ing that a weak ad­di­tional coun­cil res­o­lu­tion would be “worse than noth­ing” in light of the North’s re­peated vi­o­la­tions.

North Korean leader Kim Jongun boasted of his coun­try’s abil­ity to strike any tar­get in the US af­ter an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile test last Fri­day that weapons ex­perts said could even bring New York into range — in a ma­jor chal­lenge to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

US strate­gic bombers last Satur­day flew over the Korean penin­sula in a di­rect re­sponse to the launch, and on Sun­day, Amer­i­can forces tested a mis­sile in­ter­cep­tion sys­tem the US hopes will be in­stalled on the Korean penin­sula.

The US Se­nate passed new bi­par­ti­san sanc­tions on Py­ongyang last Fri­day.

Ha­ley urged China, Japan and South Korea to tighten the screws on Py­ongyang.

“An ad­di­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion that does not sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease the in­ter­na­tional pres­sure on North Korea is of no value,” she said.

“It sends the mes­sage to the North Korean dic­ta­tor that the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity is un­will­ing to se­ri­ously chal­lenge him.

“China must de­cide whether it is fi­nally will­ing to take this vi­tal step. The time for talk is over.”

Ear­lier, US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump warned that he would not al­low China to “do noth­ing” about Py­ongyang.

Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe also urged Bei­jing and Mos­cow to act af­ter tele­phone talks with Trump yes­ter­day.

In a joint mis­sion at the week­end, US B-1B bombers along with fighter jets from the South Korean and Ja­panese air forces prac­tised in­ter­cept and for­ma­tion drills. It was fol­lowed by a mis­sile de­fence sys­tem test, with the launch of a medium-range mis­sile over the Pa­cific that was “de­tected, tracked and in­ter­cepted” in Alaska.

Bei­jing urged re­straint by all sides, af­ter the US and South Korea con­ducted a live-fire ex­er­cise us­ing sur­face-to-sur­face mis- siles. AFP

EPA PIX

A Ter­mi­nal High Al­ti­tude Area De­fence in­ter­cep­tor be­ing launched from the Pa­cific Space­port Com­plex Alaska in Ko­diak, Alaska, on Sun­day.

A United States B1-B bomber (top) es­corted by South Korean F-15K fight­ers as they fly over South Korea in a joint mis­sion on Sun­day.

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