Photo Credit: DS Levi
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley addresses UN Security Council

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned member states of the United Nations Security Council at an emergency session Wednesday that North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) earlier this week that landed just a few hundred miles short of Japan “requires an escalated diplomatic and economic response. Time is short,” she said. “Action is required. The world is on notice.”


Haley called for the emergency session together with her UN colleagues from Japan and South Korea, whose countries are both equally threatened by Pyongyang and who are allies of the United States.

North Korea’s actions, said Haley, are “quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution.

“The United States is prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves and our allies. One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must. But we prefer not to have to go in that direction.

“We have other methods of addressing those who threaten us, and of addressing those who supply the threats,” she said. “We have great capabilities in the area of trade. President Trump has spoken repeatedly about this. I spoke with him at length about it this morning.

“There are countries that are allowing – even encouraging – trade with North Korea – in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. Such countries would also like to continue their trade arrangements with the United States.”

But, she warned, “That’s not going to happen. Our attitude on trade changes when countries do not take international security threats seriously.”

Before the path to a peaceful solution is entirely closed, however, she said, “There remains more that the international community can, and must do, diplomatically and economically.

“In the coming days, we will bring before the Security Council a resolution that raises the international response in a way that is proportionate to North Korea’s new escalation.”

Haley declined to provide details of the resolution, but said pointedly, “The options are all known to us. If we are unified, the international community can cut off the major sources of hard currency to the North Korean regime. We can restrict the flow of oil to their military and to their weapons program. We can increase air and maritime restrictions. We can hold senior regime officials accountable.”

Adding that the international community has spoken frequently against the “illegal and dangerous actions of the North Korean regime,” Haley noted that for “many years, there have been numerous UN sanctions against North Korea — but they have been insufficient to get them to change their destructive course.

So in order to have an impact, in order to move North Korea off its military escalation, we must do more,” she said, quietly laying out America’s new plan of action.

“We will not look exclusively at North Korea. We will look at any country that chooses to do business with this outlaw regime. We will not have patience for stalling, or talking our way down to a watered-down resolution. Yesterday’s ICBM escalation requires an escalated diplomatic and economic response. Time is short. Action is required. The world is on notice,” she stated.

“If we act together, we can still prevent a catastrophe and we can rid the world of a grave threat. If we fail to act in a serious way, there will be a different response.”

Haley also put China on notice in what appeared to be a followup to the series of tweets flowing from the White House shortly after the missile was launched from North Korea.

“Much of the burden of enforcing UN sanctions rests with China,” she observed. “Ninety percent of trade with North Korea is from China. We will work with China,” she said, without offering details.

“We will work with any and every country that believes in peace – but,” she warned, “we will not repeat the inadequate approaches of the past that have brought us to this dark day. We cannot forget the multiple missile tests this year. Or yesterday’s escalation. We cannot forget Otto Warmbier and others North Korea continues to hold.

“We cannot forget the threats to our friends and allies around the world. We will not forget. And we will not delay.”