Echoing the sentiments expressed by President Donald Trump during his address to the United Nations General Assembly in August this year, The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations warned on Wednesday November 29th that the North Korean regime “will be utterly destroyed” if a war breaks out, a day after that country launched an intercontinental ballistic missile in a new provocative test.
Haley’s comments are a continuation of the Trump administration’s responses to North Korean military displays. The president stated in August that he would unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it continued threatening the US and its allies.
Nikki Haley ratcheted up talk of war with North Korea in reaction to the isolated country’s most recent intercontinental ballistic missile test, warning that Kim Jong-un’s government is on a road to ruin.
“We have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it,” ambassador Nikki Haley said at an emergency UN Security Council meeting. “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,” Haley said. “The nations of the world have it within their power to further isolate, diminish and, God willing, reverse the dangerous course of the North Korean regime.”
During an emergency session of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Haley asked the members of the panel to increase the sanctions imposed on North Korea and to implement penalties established by the council earlier in the year, The Hill reported. Haley also warned the panel that North Korea’s latest missile test has brought Pyongyang and Washington “closer to war.”
If war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed,” Haley said. “The dictator of North Korea made a choice yesterday that brings the world closer to war, not farther from it,” Ambassador Haley added.
Also on Wednesday, President Donald Trump said that he would put forth “additional major sanctions” against North Korea in reaction to the recent ICBM test. Trump added that “the situation will be handled.”
North Korea’s latest ICBM test on Tuesday was its first in more than two months, and the rocket that was launched flew further than any previous launches. The distance of the launch allegedly put the US mainland into the range of the missile, according to North Korean state media. 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. Of the missiles tested before that, one was intermediate-range, two were medium-range, eight were either short-range or medium-range and the range of one is unknown, according to various North Korea watchers. Four fired on June 8 were believed to be surface-to-ship cruise missiles. U.S. military officials said that the missile tested Tuesday appears to be a new variant.
As a result of the continuous pressure the US has put on Pyongyang, on November 20, Trump officially declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism. While speaking of the designation, Trump said: “In addition to threatening the world with nuclear devastation, North Korea has supported international acts of terrorism including assassinations on foreign soil.”
On November 15, as tensions between the two countries continued to heat up, the US military stated their B-1 bombers are capable of dropping nuclear weapons, and the US possesses “secret silos” of nuclear hardware.
“As long as there is a continuous hostile policy against my country by the US and as long as there are continued war games on our doorstep, then there will not be negotiations,” Pyongyang’s ambassador to the UN, Han Tae Song said.
In October, North Korea mimicked the the Trump administration’s tough talk and threatened an “unimaginable” strike on the US, as tensions further ramped up over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs, North Korean state media reported.
A missile capable of reaching the United States topped with a nuclear warhead is considered to be Pyongyang’s ultimate goal. They want it because they believe the US will eventually try to remove Kim Jong Un from power. But would the United States try to topple the Kim regime if North Korea could respond with a nuclear attack?
Pyongyang believes Washington wouldn’t, and that’s why the country sees nuclear weapons as the key to sparing Kim Jong Un from a fate similar to that which befell Moammar Gaddafi in Libya and Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
The long-range missile is what really scares the United States because it means there is an existential threat of a nuclear attack, according to John Delury, a professor at Seoul’s Yonsei University’s Graduate School of International Relations.
“We are in a somewhat dangerous period of a threat perception gap, as Americans adjust to the sense of vulnerability to North Korean retaliation that South Koreans and Japanese have lived with for quite some time,” he said.