Haley on North Korean Missile Test: 'Action Is Required, the World Is on Notice'

July 5, 2017

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had harsh words for North Korea, China, and the international community during a Wednesday meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

Haley's comments came after North Korea announced a successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The Pentagon has confirmed the launch.

Following the announcement, Haley requested an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the implications of the missile test for peace in the international community.

Speaking before the council, Haley called the missile launch "not only dangerous but reckless and irresponsible."

"It showed that North Korea does not want to be part of a peaceful world. They have cast a dark shadow of conflict on all nations that strive for peace," she said.

Haley alluded to American student Otto Warmbier, who died last month after returning from more than a year of imprisonment in North Korea. Warmbier was in a coma at the time of his return; many believe the North Korean regime is responsible for his subsequent death.

"Yesterday's act came from the same vicious dictator who sent a young college student back home to his parents unresponsive and in a coma ...  If North Korea will treat an innocent young student the way it treated Otto Warmbier, we should not be surprised if it acts barbarically on a larger scale," Haley said.

Haley told the Security Council that the United States expects to bring a resolution before it in response to North Korea's test. Although she did not specify what would be in the resolution, she signaled that it might include cutting off "major sources of hard currency," restricting the flow of oil "to their military and their weapons program," increasing "air and maritime restrictions," and holding "senior regime officials accountable."

Haley also called out countries that continue to trade with North Korea, thereby subsidizing the regime.

"There are countries that are allowing, even encouraging, trade with North Korea in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Such countries would also like to continue their trade arrangements with the United States. That's not going to happen," she said.

Haley explicitly called out China, which is North Korea's major trade partner.

"Much of the burden of enforcing U.N. sanctions rests with China. Ninety percent of trade with North Korea is from China," she noted.

President Donald Trump attacked China's trade relationship with the North Koreans on Twitter prior to Haley's speech. "Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40% in the first quarter. So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!" he wrote.

While she emphasized the need for diplomatic and trade-based solutions, Haley made clear that the United States is unafraid to use its military might if necessary.

"[North Korea's] actions 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," Haley said.

"Yesterday's ICBM escalation requires an escalated diplomatic and economic response. Time is short. Action is required. The world is on notice," she said.