LATEST: The US hinted it’s open to the military option on North Korea


The China Post with dpa

TAIPEI/NEW YORK — The U.S. is willing to use its “full range of capabilities” to defend the world against North Korea, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Wednesday, vowing to bring a “proportionate” draft resolution of new sanctions to the Security Council in the coming days.

U.N. sanctions have been “insufficient” in halting Pyongyang’s “clear and sharp military escalation,” Haley said at an emergency meeting of the Security Council a day after North Korea tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

A smiling Kim Jong Un had the launch was an Independence Day “gift” for Americans and vowed to continue sending the U.S. “gift packages” of nuclear and missile tests, North Korean state media reported.

In response, the U.S. is considering using its military and trade capabilities, Haley said at the U.N. in New York, but the U.S. would prefer not to go down a military route.

“We will not look exclusively at North Korea, we will look at any country that chooses to do business with this outlaw regime.”

Ninety per cent of North Korea’s trade is with China, Haley said.

“Time is short, action is required. The world is on notice. If we act together, we can still prevent a catastrophe and rid the world of a grave threat,” Haley said.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged all countries to uphold sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.

“Countries that host North Korean guest workers, provide economic or military benefits to North Korea or fail to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions are aiding and abetting a dangerous regime,” Tillerson said.

Earlier on Wednesday, it appeared that Donald Trump’s love affair with Xi Jinping was officially over.

The U.S. president has slammed China for its handling of North Korea following that country’s successful testing of a long-range ICBM.

Trump had previously said he expected China to help rein in North Korea and its progress in long-range missiles as well as its nuclear program.

The tweet marks a stark departure from his previous praise for Xi, the Chinese leader.

As recently as a few weeks ago, Trump appeared to be giving Xi the benefit of the doubt.

Trump’s tweet Wednesday caps a series of moves by the White House and U.S. Congress that are sure to anger Beijing.

On June 29, the U.S. government approved a US$1.42 billion arms sale to Taiwan — the first of the Trump administration.

The sale’s approval came just a day after a U.S. Senate committee OK’d a bill that would allow U.S. navy ships to make stops at ports in Taiwan, in what would be a major change in U.S. policy.