Political News

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley: 'We're prepared to do whatever it takes' on North Korea

Posted August 5

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called newly approved sanctions on North Korea "a gut punch" to that country Saturday and warned of possible military action should the regime continue its aggressions.

"What I will tell you from the United States' perspective, we're prepared to do whatever it takes to defend ourselves and defend our allies," Haley told CNN's Ana Cabrera. "The ball is in North Korea's court. They now have to decide where they want to go from here. We hope that they will go the route of peace and security."

Haley pushed back on the notion that the Trump administration has presented inconsistent messaging about dealing with North Korea.

"I think the administration has said and will continue to say that North Korea has acted recklessly, irresponsibly, and it has to stop," Haley said. "We have tried to say multiple times that all options are on the table."

The UN Security Council unanimously voted to impose wide-ranging sanctions against North Korea on Saturday for its continued intercontinental ballistic missile testing and violations of other UN resolutions. The sanctions resolution targets North Korea's primary exports, including coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. The sanctions also target other revenue streams, such as banks and joint ventures with foreign companies.

Haley praised the unanimous vote on the resolution, saying that the UN "spoke with one voice."

"To have China stand with us, along with Japan and (South Korea) and the rest of the international community telling North Korea to do this, it's pretty impactful," Haley said. "This was a strong day in the UN, it was a strong day for the United States and it was a strong day for the international community. It was not a good day for North Korea."

When asked about the effectiveness of another set of sanctions -- those against Russia that President Donald Trump signed into law Wednesday -- Haley said "we'll have to wait and see."

"We should always be hard on any country that tries to meddle in our elections, whether it's Russia or anyone else," she said. Haley noted that Russia was part of the Security Council negotiations, adding that she hoped "their days of meddling in elections are over."

Trump has often taken to Twitter to voice his thoughts about other nations, tweeting Thursday that the United States' "relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low." But when asked about this sort of "Twitter diplomacy," Haley said she has not received complaints.

"I have not had one country complain to me about the President's tweets," she told Cabrera. "This is a president who communicates through Twitter as much as he communicates through anything else. The countries pay attention."

"Never have they complained because, to them, they know where he stands and what he stands for," Haley said.

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