New York, November 30: The United States warned North Korea’s leadership it would be “utterly destroyed” if war were to break out, after Pyongyang test fired its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, putting the U.S. mainland within range. Speaking at an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting in New York, U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley warned, “we have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it. 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 Trump administration has repeatedly said all options were on the table in dealing with North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear weapons program, including military ones, but that it still prefers a diplomatic option. Haley said the United States has asked China to cut off oil supply to North Korea, a drastic step that Beijing – the North’s neighbour and sole major trading partner – has so far refrained from doing. US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping talked on the phone earlier on Wednesday.
Trump took to Twitter to talk about his conversation with Jinping:
Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2017
Previous U.S. administrations have failed to stop North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and a sophisticated missile program. Trump has also struggled to contain Pyongyang since he came to office in January.Urging China to use its leverage on Pyongyang and promising more sanctions against North Korea are two strategies that have borne little fruit so far.
It is the third ICBM test conducted by North Korea, which has also carried out six past nuclear tests. In all, the North Koreans have test-fired rockets 18 times since Donald Trump took office in January. U.S. military officials said that the missile tested Tuesday appears to be a new variant.
By Aishwarya Tendolkar with inputs from Reuters