The U.S. will not hesitate to use all its military capabilities if needed to defend its interests and protect its allies against a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile. Still, it is also pursuing its clout in international trade to respond to the rogue state’s threat.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley delivered a hard-hitting speech at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council after Pyongyang’s successful launch of an ICBM on the eve of the 4th of July celebrations of the U.S. Haley strongly said: “The world has become a more dangerous place” because of North Korea, and challenged China that it has a key role to play in promoting peace.
China is crucial in containing North Korea because it is responsible for 90 percent of trade with North Korea. Haley warned China that it would risk its massive trade with the U.S. if its business dealings with barbaric state North Korea violate U.N. sanctions.
Haley established that the U.S. is, in fact, working to avoid conflict but the launch of an ICBM by Pyongyang “is a clear and sharp military escalation”. She added that the U.S. is prepared to use its “considerable military forces” to defend itself and its close allies “if we must.”
Haley also disclosed that she had a long conversation with President Trump on Wednesday morning about U.S. clout on trade. She stressed that it is the President’s preference for the U.S. to use “its great capabilities of trade” to address “those who threaten us and… those who supply the threats.”
The U.S. has in the past regarded China as a partner in their strategy to contain North Korea from its nuclear ambitions and the ability to strike the U.S. mainland with nuclear weapons. Trump, however, has grown irritated with Beijing for its reluctance to play tougher with Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs.
Haley also issued a not so subtle warning against countries that are allowing, and even encouraging, trade with North Korea in complete violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions. Haley said that such countries cannot hope to continue their trade arrangements with the U.S. if they continue to trade with North Korea. Haley underscored: “Our attitude on trade changes when countries do not take international security threats seriously.”
Haley said that the current U.N. sanctions have not stopped North Korea from its “destructive course”, and that much of the burden of enforcing the resolutions rests with China on the strength of its massive trade with its neighbor.
Haley announced that the U.S. will put forward a new Security Council resolution in the coming days “that raises the international response in a way that is proportionate to North Korea’s escalation.”
The U.S. Ambassador did not give details of the new resolution but emphasized anew that if the council is united, the international community can cut off major sources of hard currency to North Korea, restrict oil to their military and weapons programs, increase air and maritime restrictions, and hold senior officials accountable.
The presidents of China and Russia met in Moscow on Tuesday and proposed a plan for defusing tensions on the Korean Peninsula that includes a suspension-for-suspension. It entails a North Korea moratorium on nuclear and missile tests while the U.S. and South Korea refrain from large-scale military exercises.
China has yet to respond to the fresh demands of the U.S. for its role in managing North Korea’s threat to the U.S. and Asian allies Japan and South Korea.