Haley: ‘Closer to war’ after missile launch
WASHINGTON — U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Wednesday that North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that some observers think could reach Washington and the entire Eastern Seaboard “brings us closer” to a war the U.S. doesn’t seek.
Haley, speaking at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, said that if war comes as a result of further acts of “aggression” like Tuesday’s launch, “make no mistake the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.”
“The dictator of North Korea made a decision yesterday that brings us closer to war, not farther from it,” Haley said. “We have never sought war with North Korea and still today we do not seek it.”
The Trump administration Wednesday threatened new sanctions on North Korea after the reclusive government shattered 2 months of relative quiet with its most-powerful weapon test yet.
President Donald Trump tweeted that he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about Pyongyang’s “provocative actions” and vowed that “additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!” Trump’s top diplomat, Rex Tillerson, said the U.S. could target financial institutions doing business with the North.
At the Security Council meeting, China’s deputy U.N. ambassador Wu Haitao reiterated the China-Russia proposal for North Korea to suspend all nuclear and missile tests and for the U.S. and South Korea to suspend all military exercises.
Wednesday, Trump could not resist taking a dig at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Digressing during a speech in Missouri on tax reform, Trump called Kim “Little Rocket Man” and described him as “a sick puppy.”
If flown on a standard trajectory, instead of Wednesday’s lofted angle, North Korea’s latest missile would have a range of more than 8,100 miles, said U.S. scientist David Wright, a physicist who closely tracks North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs. “Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, D.C., and in fact any part of the continental United States,” Wright wrote in a blog post for the Union for Concerned Scientists.