Trump says Iran ‘working with North Korea’ after ballistic missile test

President Trump accused Iran of collaborating with North Korea to strengthen their missile technology Saturday evening in a Twitter post criticizing the 2015 nuclear agreement between the U.S., Iran and five other nations.

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“Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel,” Trump wrote. “They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!”

Nonproliferation experts have long suspected North Korea and Iran are sharing know-how when it comes to their rogue missile programs. Earlier this month, CIA Director Mike Pompeo told Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier” that Iran would “certainly be someone who would be willing to pay” for that expertise.

“The North Koreans have a long history of being proliferators and sharing their knowledge, their technology, their capacities around the world,” Pompeo said. “As North Korea continues to improve its ability to do longer-range missiles and to put nuclear weapons on those missiles, it is very unlikely if they get that capability that they wouldn’t share it with lots of folks.”

Trump posted the tweet hours after Iran claimed to have successfully tested a new ballistic missile capable of reaching parts of the Middle East, including Israel.

The missile, known as the Khoramshahr, has a range of 1,250 miles and is based on a North Korean design. A similar missile was tested in late January and blew up 600 miles after launch.

The Iranian test-launch constituted a direct challenge to Trump, who last month signed a bill imposing mandatory penalties on those involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them.

Trump has vowed repeatedly to take a tougher line toward Iran than his predecessor, threatening at various times to renegotiate or even dismantle the nuclear deal, and shoot Iranian boats out of the water if they provoke U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf.

On Wednesday, Trump told reporters that he had made a decision about whether or not to pull out of the nuclear deal, but declined to say what it was.

Earlier this week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed Iran would strengthen its missile capabilities without asking for any country’s permission, just days after Trump accused Iran in an address to the United Nations General Assembly of exporting violence to Yemen, Syria, and other parts of the Middle East.

In that speech, Trump criticized the nuclear deal as “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”

“Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States,” the president proclaimed, “and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me.”

The nuclear deal between Iran and world powers does not strictly prohibit Iran from developing missiles but after the deal came into effect last year, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution calling on Iran not to take any actions related to ballistic missiles “designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons” for eight years.

Iranian officials have argued that the measure only applies to missiles specifically designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Courtesy, Fox News

China detects 3.4 N. Korea earthquake on surface, fears of new nuclear test emerge

China detects 3.4 N. Korea earthquake on surface, fears of new nuclear test emerge
A magnitude 3.4 earthquake, at a depth of 0 kilometers, has been recorded near the Kilju area in the North Hamgyeong Province of North Korea, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC).

The ‘quake’ occurred at approximately 08:29 GMT (16:29 local time) on Saturday, CENC reported. Kilju is home to the Punggyeri nuclear site, where North Korea’s sixth and largest nuclear test was conducted on September 3.

Japanese news agency Kyodo reports that the quake was caused by a “suspected explosion” at the site, while Yonhap reports, that as of right now, the Korea Meteorological Administration believe the quake “occurred naturally.”

“A sound wave, which is usually generated in the event of an artificial earthquake, was not detected,” an agency official said, as cited by Yonhap.

Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Nuclear proliferation watchdog the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) confirmed that an investigation is already underway following “unusual seismic activity.”

Zerbo added that the tremor took place roughly 50km from the site of previously confirmed tests.

Analysts looking at unusual  activity of a much smaller magnitude in the  : 23-SEP-2017 08:30 UTC / More details to come!

Update: Korean Peninsula unusual  activity: LAT=41.36 LON=129.76 mb=3.5
About 50km from prior tests. Analysts investigating.

If confirmed as a nuclear test, it would be the North Korean regime’s seventh. However, all previous tests registered above 4.3 on the Richter scale, with the most recent test on September 3 being recorded as a 6.3 magnitude quake.

The September 3 test spurred the latest raft of UN sanctions and has raised tensions between the US, its allies, and the North Korean regime.

S.Korean ‘talk of appeasement’ with N.Korea will not work, @realDonaldTrump adds http://on.rt.com/8m2t    

Photo published for N. Korea tested hydrogen bomb that can be mounted on ICBM – state TV — RT News

N. Korea tested hydrogen bomb that can be mounted on ICBM – state TV — RT News

Pyongyang has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb which can be mounted on an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), the country’s state TV announced. Earlier an “artificial quake” was registered…

rt.com

Saturday’s quake follows an escalation of the combative rhetoric between the North Korean and US leaders this week.

Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump have exchanged a variety of barbs through state media agencies and Twitter respectively, in recent days.

READ MORE: Trump: ‘Madman Kim Jong-un will be tested like never before’

Courtesy, RT

Opinion: The world needs more Europe and less Donald Trump

Donald Trump jeopardizes world peace. He is aggravating North Korea and Iran and simultaneously widening the gulf between the US and Europe. But he could learn a thing or two from the Europeans, writes DW’s Max Hofmann.

Donald Trump frowns at the UN General Assembly (Getty Images/AFP/B. Smialowski)

Can someone please find a distraction for the American president? Dangle a shiny object in front of him? Maybe show him a funny YouTube video, or get him to give a rally speech in some small American town. Do anything to keep him busy in the US because when it comes to foreign policy and dealing with countries like North Korea or Iran, Donald Trump horrifies his partners, especially those in Europe.

After years of laying down the groundwork, the negotiating partners struggled for yet another 20 months over the Iran nuclear deal. The European Union had a seat at the negotiation table and ended up scoring a success for the bloc. Ultimately, Europeans were able to use their favorite crisis-resolution skill: classic diplomacy.

Trump speaking before the UN General Assembly (Reuters/E. Munoz)Trump reiterated his threat to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear accord during a speech at the UN

Ever since the Iran nuclear deal was concluded, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has checked eight times to see whether Iran has met the requirements. Every time, the answer was “Yes!” The results have been so convincing that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed to use the agreement as a blueprint for further action in North Korea.

A confrontational course for Europe and the US?

Now along comes Donald Trump, who threatens to destroy the greatest international diplomatic feat of recent years. For what? Merely to fulfil a crazy election promise. He mentions North Korea and Iran in the same breath and makes it sound as though both nations must be treated with equal severity. Europeans would never lump these two countries together. Those in Europe know the devastating effects the termination of the Iran deal would have at their own doorstep: the destabilization of the Middle East, Iran’s move towards China and Russia, and the strengthening of radical anti-Western forces.

What can the European Union do? It will probably — as already announced by the EU’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini – adhere to the agreement, regardless of whether the US pulls out or not. In practice, this could mean that Americans would impose sanctions on Iran again while the Europeans would not, putting the transatlantic entities on a confrontational course with each other. Everyone knows how the US president will react to this. At the same time, the West would lose all credibility as a moral and political entity and would be permanently weakened. If the US and the EU can no longer act together, no one will take them seriously.

DW's Brussels studio head Max Hofmann

The EU has no choice but to continue using whatever influence it still wields over Trump’s government. The Europeans must try to keep the US in the agreement. Its success in the past few years should speak for itself, but facts no longer count in the White House. Merkel and company have tried prievously to make Trump come to his senses, as was seen with the Paris climate agreement, but to no avail. In the case of Iran, however, it is a matter of a new cold war — or even a hot war in a highly volatile region. The situation could escalate very quickly.

Read more: Iran nuclear deal: Trump rebuke could ‘push Tehran towards nukes’

Diplomacy — difficult but successful

The prospect for North Korea is even gloomier than for Iran. Europeans have very little influence there. The EU cannot — and does not want to — keep up with Donald Trump’s and Kim Jong Un’s nuclear swagger. The bloc’s demand to focus strictly on politics and diplomacy may seem like it’s failing to handle the situation with the seriousness it deserves. However, it is the right way to move ahead and the only way forward for the EU. Here, too, one can see the gapping gulf between Europe and the US in sensitive diplomatic issues.

Donald Trump und Kim Jong Un TV Bild in Seoul (picture alliance/AP Photo/A. Young-joon)The threats of destruction Trump (L) and Kim Jong Un (R) are trading could have disastrous consequences

But Donald Trump will have to follow the European example, at least a little bit, if he really wants to maintain world peace, as he declared to the UN General Assembly. His threats, both to Iran and North Korea, have the potential to lead the world to destruction. Europe’s diplomatic approach may at times seem somewhat feeble, but it is the only method that has really worked in recent years. The Americans have tried to use military force in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, sometimes with disastrous results. That is why Trump’s saber rattling and his demand to renegotiate the Iran deal strike Europeans as threatening and hollow. Everyone believes that the president is capable of a blind military attack. The angry man in the White House lacks the experts, the patience, and the competence required to conduct well-balanced and complex negotiations. Europe has all this.

Watch video02:21

Angela Merkel offers to liaise in North Korea crisis

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Why Trump won’t ‘totally destroy’ North Korea

After US President Donald Trump’s address to the UN National Assembly, there is renewed confusion over what direction the US will take in developing a coherent strategy against the regime in Pyongyang.

Trump UN Rede in New York (Reuters/E. Munoz)

During President Trump’s first address to the UN National Assembly in New York on Tuesday, the one statement that echoed loudest in the plenary chamber was the US president’s full-throated threat of force toward North Korea.

This being Trump’s most prominent appearance on the world stage to date, these overt threats of force, made in front of world leaders attending a conference devoted to avoiding international conflict, sounded more suited coming from a belligerent warlord than the president of the United States. But the larger issue with Trump’s statements is the ambiguity they entail.

“The United States has great strength and patience but if forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” said Trump.

Read More: France’s Macron seeks conciliatory tone while Donald Trump lashes out at UN

By saying the US will act “if forced” to defend itself and allies, Trump is indicating that the US will only act if North Korea attacks first. This begs the question of how high a threat level the US and its allies would have to perceive in order spark a preemptive strike? So far, repeated missile and nuclear testshave not pushed the US into action.

And later in the speech, Trump characterized North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un as being on a “suicide mission,” which indicates that he considers Kim to be entirely irrational and this could conversely be interpreted that the US intends to act first.

These inherent contradictions in Trump’s public formulations on US-North Korea policy can have a destabilizing effect. At the same time they diminish the credibility of the US and its allies in threatening force against Pyongyang’s dangerous military escalation.

Watch video03:30

Q&A with Tyson Barker of the Aspen Institute Berlin on Donald Trump’s address to the UN

Trump’s brand of foreign policy

During his campaign and first months in office, unpredictability has been the only consistent measureof Trump’s foreign policy and is something the president has even lauded as being a strategic asset.

“I don’t want people to know my thinking,” Trump was quoted as saying during a radio interview in August 2016.

“Trump has no larger plan regarding North Korea and no nuanced view of when, how, why or how long military force is useful or effective,” Katharine Moon, Chair of Korea Studies at the Brookings Institution, told DW.

“Kim has a larger plan, regime survival, maintenance of national pride, and resistance to US power. Trump changes his mind regularly; Kim does not,” she added.

And North Korea doesn’t seem to be taking Trump’s threats very seriously right now. On Thursday, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said Trump’s remarks amounted to “noise.”

“If he thought he could scare us with the noise of a dog barking, well, he should be daydreaming,” Ho told reporters in New York. Ho also said that he “felt sorry” for Trump’s aides.

Seoul Donald Trump und Kim Jong Un auf einem Screen (picture alliance/dpa/AP/A. Young-joon)Trump has taken a more direct tone with N. Korea than previous US presidents

Trump goes on the record

After Trump’s off the cuff remarks in August threatened North Korea with “fire and fury,”officials in his administration scrambled to water down the implications.

This time, there has yet to be any attempt from US military and foreign policy officials to put a euphemistic spin on Trump’s remarks. And unlike the spontaneous statements in August, these latest Trump threats came in a carefully written speech to the UN, which certainly lends them more “official” weight.

“The Trump administration has sent mixed messages about the possibilities for preemptive or preventive actions and North Korea’s threats will echo those sentiments. The risk of miscalculation is rising significantly.” Jenny Town, the managing editor of the 38 North think tank at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, told DW after Trump’s remarks in August.

The US allies in the region, South Korea and Japan, responded to the UN speech with varying degrees of support for Trump’s position.

“We view the speech as portraying a firm and specific stance on the key issues regarding keeping peace and safety that the international community and the United Nations are faced with,” the office of South Korean President Moon Jae In said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“It clearly showed how seriously the United States government views North Korea’s nuclear program as the president spent an unusual amount of time discussing the issue.”

During his speech to the UN on Wednesday, Japan’s premier, Shinzo Abe echoed the US’ emphasis on increasing pressure on North Korea.

“Again, and again, attempts to resolve issues through dialogue have all come to naught. In what hope of success are we now repeating the very same failure a third time?” said Abe, adding that “pressure” rather than dialogue is what’s needed.

More bark than bite?

UN Generalversammlung in New York | Donald Trump, Präsident USA (Reuters/S. Stapleton)Trump speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York on September 19, 2017

Despite new posturing from both sides, the fact remains that a preemptive military strike by the US on North Korea would have catastrophic consequences for South Korea and Japan.  And the regime in Pyongyang is fully aware it would be destroyed in a direct confrontation with the US and its allies.

And despite threats of force, there are major limits for the US to acting preemptively when millions of people around Seoul are in range of conventional North Korean artillery, which is a simple, yet effective weapon.

“North Korea’s artillery could inflict significant damage on Seoul,” Kelsey Davenport, Director of Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association in Washington, told DW. “The country possesses a number of systems that are concentrated along the DMZ. Estimates put the number of artillery pieces at more than 11,000.”

Davenport added that although the systems are aging and have a high failure rate, some could reach Seoul. Specifically, 300mm multiple launch rocket systems can fire into the center of the capital. According to the US strategy think tank Stratfor, if every one of these were fired, a single volley could “deliver more than 350 metric tons of explosives across the South Korean capital, roughly the same amount of ordnance dropped by 11 B-52 bombers.”

Infografik North Korea's missile ranges

During the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the US maintained a policy of “containment and deterrence” to address the threat of Soviet nuclear weapons. The strategy rests on limiting the effectiveness of weapons systems and providing a major disincentive for their use, also known as “mutually assured destruction.”

The current problem with developing a policy of deterrence and containment is that the US has no intention to accept North Korea as a nuclear power and there is little to no dialogue between the two sides.

“Dialogue is really the only way that is going to get us out of this escalatory cycle,” said Town from 38 North. “Sanctions play their role and as North Korea demonstrates new capabilities, bolstering deterrence capabilities is necessary. But pressure and isolation alone is not going to change North Korea’s belief that it needs a deterrence capability.”

Up to now, the US has said that it is open to dialogue only if North Korea is willing to abandon its nuclear program, an offer North Korea rejects outright. To begin dialogue, expectations must be changed.

Watch video01:58

Trump slams North Korea, Iran in maiden UN speech

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North Korea’s Kim keeps teen sex slaves, executes musicians with anti-aircraft guns, defector reveals

Kim Jong Un’s officials plucked teenage girls from North Korean schools to serve as the leader’s sex slaves, indulged in a gluttonous lifestyle while his people starved and ordered public executions that turned into horrific shows of violence, a North Korean defector revealed.

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Hee Yeon, who fled Pyongyang in 2015 and now lives in Seoul, told The Mirror about the years she spent living in constant fear of Kim Jong Un since the ruthless dictator took control of North Korea in 2011.

“Despite our privilege we were scared. I saw terrible things in Pyongyang,” Hee Yeon said.

FEMALE PRISONERS IN NORTH KOREAN CAMPS RAPED AND EXECUTED, THEIR BABIES FED TO DOGS, REPORT SAYS

In what heinous example, she recalled standing in a crowd of 10,000 people assembled to watch the execution of 11 musicians who allegedly made a pornographic video. Security guards ordered the viewers to leave their classes and stand in a stadium around the men, who were tied up and gagged.

“What I saw that day made me sick in my stomach. They were lashed to the end of anti-aircraft guns,” she said. “A gun was fired, the noise was deafening, absolutely terrifying. And the guns were fired one after the other.”

She added: “The musicians just disappeared each time the guns were fired into them. Their bodies were blown to bits, totally destroyed, blood and bits flying everywhere…and then, after that, military tanks moved in and they ran over the bits on the ground where the remains lay.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets supporters in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 12, 2017. REUTERS/KCNA   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. - RC1DA0FE3F10

Kim Jong Un meets supporters in Pyongyang. The dictator was hailed as “the great successor” when he came into power in 2011.  (Reuters)

Hee Yeon remembered seeing the remains “smashed…into the ground until there was nothing left.” She said the gruesome scene haunted her and took away her appetite for three days.

A report, released by The Transnational Justice Working Group in Seoul in July, also stated the regime’s firing squad carried out public executions in school yards, bridges and sports stadiums.

But that was just the tip of the insanity Hee Yeon said she witnessed. She said no one was immune to the young leader’s vicious whims, and anyone could be executed if they were suspected of disloyalty.

NORTH KOREA FIRING SQUAD CARRIES OUT PUBLIC EXECUTIONS IN SCHOOL YARDS, REPORT SAYS

“I was brought up [and] told he was like a god – that he was as a young boy an expert sailor, marksman before the age of seven, god-like,” she said. “Then I met him at big events, I found him terrifying, really scary, nothing god-like about him.”

Several previous reports also painted Kim as a hot-tempered man. He reportedly executed his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, when he “flew into a rage” after finding out about an alleged coup plot that was planned with China. Nam Sung Wook, a security expert, recalled the leader “exploded with foul language” when his former girlfriend suggested he stop smoking.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claps during a celebration for nuclear scientists and engineers who contributed to a hydrogen bomb test, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on September 10, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. - RC15DB4A91F0

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claps during a celebration for nuclear scientists and engineers who contributed to a hydrogen bomb test, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang.  (Reuters)

Hee Yeon also said “the prettiest” schoolgirls were taken away to work in one of Kim’s “hundreds of homes around Pyongyang.”

“They learn to serve him food like caviar and extremely rare delicacies. They are also taught how to massage him and they become sex slaves,” she said. “Yes, they have to sleep with him and they cannot make a mistake or object because they could very easily simply disappear.”

And as the rest of North Korea suffered from poverty and food shortages, Kim was reportedly indulging in $2,700 “bird’s nest soup,” caviar and other imported dishes.

“One of my friends went to work at one of his hundreds of homes in Pyongyang and she told me this was what he liked,” Hee Yeon told The Mirror.

CAN US MILITARY SHOOT DOWN A NORTH KOREAN MISSILE?

Kim came into power when his father died from a heart attack in December 2011. He has been credited with propelling the regime’s missile and nuclear program, appointing rocket scientists to identify flaws in the program that hadn’t been noticed before. Little is known about his secretive family, but he is married to Ri Sol-ju and reportedly has three children, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

This undated file image distributed on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, by the North Korean government, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at an undisclosed location. North Korea’s latest nuclear test was part theater, part propaganda and maybe even part fake. But experts say it was also a major display of something very real: Pyongyang’s mastery of much of the know-how it needs to reach its decades-old goal of becoming a full-fledged nuclear state.  The jury is still out on whether North Korea tested, as it claims, a hydrogen bomb ready to be mounted on an ICBM.  (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

The photo shows Kim Jong Un after the regime carried out its sixth nuclear test, reportedly a hydrogen bomb.  (KCNA via KNS)

Kim vowed to complete his nuclear program despite recent U.N. sanctions against North Korea and President Trump’s threats to destroy the dictatorship. Trump addressed the U.N. assembly on Tuesday and mocked Kim as “rocket man,” saying the dictator was “on a suicide mission for himself and his regime.”

North Korea has threatened to strike the U.S. territory of Guam with missiles and conducted its 15th missile test of the year last week. It carried out its sixth nuclear test in early September. But amid the bombastic threats, Hee Yeon said the leader’s actions reflect his fear the regime will eventually be toppled.

“Kim Jong-Un threatens war because he feels cornered and has no escape,” she said.

Courtesy, Fox News

US and South Korea agree to ‘stronger’ sanctions against North Korea

North Korea defied the international community yet again with its latest missile test on Friday. US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-In want to up the ante against Pyongyang.

Donald Trump takes a call on his smartphone.

US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in “gravely condemned” North Korea’s latest missile test on Thursday and promised “stronger” sanctions on Pyongyang during a phone conversation on Sunday, a South Korean government spokesman said after the call.

South Korean President Moon Jae-inSouth Korean President Moon Jae-in wants stronger pressure against its northern neighbor.

“The two leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation, and exert stronger and practical sanctions on North Korea so that it realizes provocative actions leads to further diplomatic isolation and economic pressure,” presidential spokesman Park Soo-hyun said during a televised briefing.

North Korea fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan, a US ally, early Thursday morning, which the UN Security Council said was “highly provocative” and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned as threatening to world peace.

The international community has attempted to increase pressure on North Korea in recent weeks in response to its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3. That test prompted the UN Security Council to pass sanctions banning textile exports and restricting oil exports to the isolated Asian country.

A North Korean missile.North Korea conducted its latest missile test on Friday.

Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs have significantly advanced since its first nuclear test in 2006. The latest nuclear test was five to six times more powerful than the last, according to South Korea’s Meteorological Administration.

North Korea’s leaders have repeatedly said they need nuclear weapons to defend themselves against “hostile” US forces, 35,000 of which are stationed in South Korea.

ap/jil (AFP, Reuters)

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Nikki Haley to North Korea: ‘No problem’ letting Mattis deal with you

Alex Pappas

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned North Korea on Friday that she is more than willing to let Defense Secretary Jim Mattis deal with the nuclear threat from Pyongyang if sanctions do not work.

Haley said recent sanctions have “strangled” North Korea’s “economic situation,” calling the impact “dramatic.”

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But she said there’s only so much the U.N. Security Council can do “when you cut 90 percent of the trade and 30 percent of the oil.”

“So having said that, I have no problem kicking it to General Mattis because I think he has plenty of options,” Haley said at the White House briefing, where she and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster previewed U.S. efforts at the U.N. General Assembly next week.

North Korea conducted its longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile Friday, sending an intermediate-range weapon hurtling over U.S. ally Japan into the northern Pacific Ocean in a launch that signals both defiance of its rivals and a big technological advance.

McMaster stressed Friday that the U.S. is still trying to resolve the conflict diplomatically. Joining Haley at the briefing, he said it’s important to employ “rigorous enforcement of those sanctions” in pursuit of that route but acknowledged the United States is willing to use force.

“There is a military option,” he said. “Now, it’s not what we prefer to do. So what we have to do is call on all nations, call on everyone to do everything we can to address this global problem short of war.”

He said “denuclearization” is the only acceptable outcome.

“We’re out of time,” McMaster said. “As Ambassador Haley said before, we’ve been kicking the can down the road and we’re out of road.”

Since President Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” in August, the North has conducted its most powerful nuclear test, threatened to send missiles into the waters around the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam and launched two missiles of increasing range over Japan.

The Security Council scheduled an emergency closed-door meeting Friday afternoon in New York. On Monday, it unanimously approved its toughest sanctions yet on North Korea over its nuclear test.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Courtesy, Fox News

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