US says North Korea is ‘begging for war’, asks UN to impose toughest sanctions on ‘dictatorship’

At an urgent UN Security Council meeting, US ambassador Nikki Haley warned ‘enough is enough’ after North Korea’s sixth and largest nuclear test


WASHINGTON: US Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Nikki Haley told the Security Council that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s abusive use of nuclear missiles show that he was “begging for war” and urged the UN security council to impose the toughest possible sanctions on the dictatorship.

The strong statement by the ambassador came as American and South Korean presidents, Donald Trump and Moon Jae-in, spoke and agreed that North Korea’s latest nuclear test was an “unprecedented” provocation.

North Korea carried out its sixth and by far the most powerful nuclear test, that Pyongyang says is its first fusion device, on Sunday. The underground blast triggered a tremor of 6.3 magnitude and was more powerful than the bombs dropped by the US on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the World War II.

Haley and her counterparts from Japan, France, the UK, and the South Korea requested the emergency meeting in response to North Korea’s latest nuclear test.

“Enough is enough. War is never something the United States wants. We don’t want it now. But our country’s patience is not unlimited,” Haley told an emergency session of the 15-member Security Council in New York.

She said Kim appeared to be “begging for war” and that the US will “defend our allies and our territory”.

“Despite our efforts the North Korean nuclear program is more advanced and more dangerous than ever,” Haley said.

“We must adopt the strongest possible measures,” she said.

Addressing the council, Haley rejected a Chinese proposal, backed by Russia, for a freeze on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes in exchange for a suspension of US-South Korean annual military drills as “insulting”.

“When a rogue regime has a nuclear weapon and an ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) pointed at you, you do not take steps to lower your guard. No one would do that. We certainly won’t.”

The US is expected to circulate a draft resolution of unspecified new sanctions for a possible vote of the Security Council next Monday.

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