U.N. am­bas­sador: N. Korea will be ‘ut­terly de­stroyed’ if tests lead to war

Ha­ley calls regime’s re­cent mis­sile launch an act of ag­gres­sion

The Washington Post - - THE WORLD - BY CAROL MORELLO AND SI­MON DENYER carol.morello@wash­post.com si­mon.denyer@wash­post.com Morello re­ported from Wash­ing­ton. Denyer re­ported from Bei­jing. Anne Gearan con­trib­uted to this re­port.

U.N. Am­bas­sador Nikki Ha­ley on Wed­nes­day urged all coun­tries to sever eco­nomic and diplo­matic ties with North Korea, and she warned Py­ongyang that the regime will be “ut­terly de­stroyed” if a stand­off over mis­sile tests leads to war.

Speak­ing at an emer­gency meet­ing of the U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to dis­cuss North Korea’s lat­est mis­sile launch, Ha­ley said Py­ongyang had brought the world closer to war with its lat­est test of a bal­lis­tic mis­sile ca­pa­ble of strik­ing the U.S. main­land, its most ad­vanced yet.

“We have never sought war with North Korea, and still to­day we do not seek it,” she said. “If war does come, it will be be­cause of con­tin­ued acts of ag­gres­sion like we wit­nessed yes­ter­day. And if war comes, make no mis­take — the North Korean regime will be ut­terly de­stroyed.”

The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil meet­ing re­quested by the United States, Ja­pan and South Korea came on a day when most coun­tries rushed to con­demn Tues­day’s launch of an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile but strug­gled to agree on an ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse.

Lead­ers in both Wash­ing­ton and Py­ongyang de­liv­ered state­ments in­tended to jab at the other. In North Korea, a gov­ern­ment state­ment said leader Kim Jong Un “de­clared with pride” that the coun­try has achieved its goal of be­com­ing a “rocket power.”

Pres­i­dent Trump re­sponded with a stern warn­ing that “ad­di­tional ma­jor sanc­tions” were com­ing in re­sponse and, later in the day, an­other dose of de­ri­sion. At a cam­paign-style rally in St. Charles, Mo., Trump turned a scripted line about tax cuts be­ing rocket fuel for the econ­omy to an im­promptu dig at Kim. “Lit­tle rocket man,” he called Kim, and af­ter paus­ing, Trump dou­bled down by say­ing, “He is a sick puppy.”

Much of the day’s ef­fort went to en­list­ing the help of other coun­tries to take tougher ac­tions with North Korea.

Trump spoke by tele­phone with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, whose coun­try is an eco­nomic life­line for North Korea. As he has be­fore, Trump urged the Chi­nese leader to ap­ply more pres­sure on Py­ongyang. And in a tweet af­ter the call, Trump said more puni­tive sanc­tions were around the cor­ner.

Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son told re­porters that a “long list” of po­ten­tial U. S. sanc­tions was be­ing con­sid­ered, in­clud­ing tar­get­ing fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions that do busi­ness with the coun­try.

But at the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, the talk was of ex­ist­ing sanc­tions and the need for more coun­tries to en­force them.

Ha­ley said it is pos­si­ble to “fur­ther iso­late, di­min­ish, and, God will­ing, re­verse the dan­ger­ous course of the North Korean regime,” and she called on all na­tions to “cut off all ties with North Korea.”

“In ad­di­tion to fully im­ple­ment­ing all U.N. sanc­tions, all coun­tries should sever diplo­matic re­la­tions with North Korea and limit mil­i­tary, sci­en­tific, tech­ni­cal, or com­mer­cial co­op­er­a­tion,” she said. “They must also cut off trade with the regime by stop­ping all im­ports and ex­ports, and ex­pel all North Korean work­ers.”

She also sin­gled out China, say­ing it was time for Bei­jing to cut off the oil sup­ply to North Korea.

But while the am­bas­sadors of both China and Rus­sia, which have veto power as per­ma­nent mem­bers of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, con­demned the mis­sile launch, they urged less bel­li­cos­ity.

Rus­sia’s U.N. am­bas­sador, Vass­ily Neben­zia, said North Korea should stop its mis­sile and nu­clear tests, and the United States should can­cel mil­i­tary drills sched­uled for next month so as not to in­flame ten­sions.

“We strongly call on all con­cerned par­ties to stop this spi­ral of ten­sion,” Neben­zia said. “It is es­sen­tial to take a step back and weigh the con­se­quences of each move.”

Ha­ley’s fo­cus on ac­tiv­i­ties out­side the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil un­der­scored how few new diplo­matic op­tions are left to tap. An al­ready for­mi­da­ble set of sanc­tions has been adopted and proven in­ef­fec­tive.

The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil has passed eight ma­jor sanc­tions res­o­lu­tions on North Korea since 2006 try­ing to pres­sure North Korea to ne­go­ti­ate and even­tu­ally aban­don its nu­clear arse­nal. The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has mounted a “max­i­mum pres­sure” cam­paign to lobby other coun­tries to do more — cut off or scale back diplo­matic re­la­tions with Py­ongyang, stop us­ing North Korean la­bor­ers whose salaries go di­rectly to their gov­ern­ment and en­force ex­ist­ing U.N. sanc­tions on the coun­try.

The pres­sure cam­paign has had some suc­cess. More than 20 coun­tries have ex­pelled North Korean diplo­mats or down­graded re­la­tions. China has curbed its ex­ports of North Korean coal, a chief source of hard cur­rency.

But there have been set­backs. As a U.N. panel noted in Septem­ber, Py­ongyang has ex­panded into new mon­ey­mak­ing ven­tures in Africa and the Mid­dle East.

And even some Euro­pean al­lies whose own cap­i­tals are within strik­ing range con­sider the threat to them­selves se­condary, amid other se­cu­rity and for­eign pol­icy chal­lenges bear­ing down on them.

China has been sup­port­ive but only to a de­gree. It has backed sanc­tions, but it re­mains North Korea’s main trad­ing part­ner and has been un­will­ing to take any dras­tic mea­sures that might un­der­mine the sta­bil­ity of the regime in Py­ongyang or change its strate­gic cal­cu­la­tions.

There are signs that China may be tir­ing of the Amer­i­can ap­proach.

In an editorial in its Chi­ne­se­lan­guage edi­tion is­sued Wed­nes­day, the na­tion­al­ist Global Times news­pa­per said this week’s test was a sign that past U.S. pol­icy to­ward North Korea had failed and that the ap­proach tried un­der Trump had also been un­suc­cess­ful.

The United States, it said, “de­spised Py­ongyang” and as a re­sult had ig­nored North Korea’s se­cu­rity con­cerns and missed an op­por­tu­nity to ne­go­ti­ate an end to the nu­clear pro­gram — in­stead in­creas­ing pres­sure, rais­ing ten­sions and nar­row­ing the space for diplo­macy since Trump took of­fice.

China’s deputy U.N. am­bas­sador told the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil that Bei­jing will im­ple­ment sanc­tions but urged more re­straint.

Wu Haitao lamented that diplo­macy had ac­com­plished so lit­tle dur­ing the win­dow of op­por­tu­nity over the past two months in which North Korea launched no mis­siles. “Re­gret­tably,” Wu said, “this win­dow failed to lead to a re­sump­tion of di­a­logue and ne­go­ti­a­tions.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.