Nikki Haley said the U.S. wants to avoid a conflict but the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile by North Korea a day earlier “is a clear, sharp military escalation” and the U.S. country is ready to use its “considerable military forces” to defend itself when necessary.
The sharp words came during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
“The world has become a more dangerous place,” Haley said. "Their illegal missile launch was not only dangerous, but reckless and irresponsible.”
She also threatened China’s trade with the U.S. if its business dealings with North Korea violate UN sanctions. A threat made to other countries if they encouraged trade with the North in violation of Security Council resolutions.
"That’s not going to happen. Our attitude on trade changes when countries do not take international security threats seriously,” she said.
“We can rid the world of a great threat. If we fail to act in a serious way there will be a different response," said Haley as she urged a unified global response.
Meanwhile, China and Russia expressed their concern about the ICBM test, but urged dialogue with North Korea while criticizing the Washington’s strong rhetoric and its deployment of a missile defense system in South Korea.
“Attempts to economically strangle North Korea are equally unacceptable as millions of people are in great humanitarian need,” said Russia’s deputy envoy to the UN Vladimir Safronkov. “Sanctions will not resolve the issue.”