The U.S. is ready to fight North Korea.
United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said Wednesday that America will launch its military on North Korea “if we must” — the most explicit statement yet about a possible conflict with Kim Jong Un’s menacing empire.
“The United States is prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves and our allies,” Haley said in an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.
“One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must but we prefer not to have to go in that direction.”
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Haley’s warning came on the second day of U.S. officials scrambling to respond to North Korea’s successful test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. After months of Kim ramping up his weapons testing, North Korea warned the world that it could now “strike anywhere on Earth.”
Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said the missile launched this week was “not one we’ve seen before,” apparently confirming North Korea’s capabilities for chaos.
“This act demonstrates that North Korea poses a threat to the United States and our allies and we remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies and to use the full range of capabilities at our disposal,” he said.
Davis said the tested missile could travel more than 3,400 miles — far enough to hit Hawaii or Alaska. The missile also poses a threat to planes and ships in its way, especially since North Korea runs its tests without any prior announcement, he said.
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Officials from the U.S., Japan and South Korea rushed into emergency meetings to determine the proper response, but the Trump administration held off an immediate plans.
Haley did not say what exactly would push the U.S. into a military strike, and she made clear that it is not the only solution. She suggested the U.S. might cut off trade with the few nations lending economic support to North Korea, an isolated communist country that does not have the resources to survive on its own.
But she told the U.N. council that North Korea’s threats were “quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution.”
Before President Trump departed Wednesday for his four-day trip through Europe, he tweeted that trade with China was what kept North Korea going.
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“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.
But Trump offered no immediate response to the missile launch. Asked about it before he left, he simply told reporters, “We’re going to do very well.”
Trump has taunted Kim on Twitter since taking office, but his administration has usually stopped short of suggesting a military attack. Defense Secretary James Mattis has warned that a war with North Korea would be “probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetime.”
The top U.S. general in South Korea said Wednesday that there wouldn’t be any easy solution to Kim’s continuing pressure.
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Gen. Vincent K. Brooks said a conflict might only be avoided by one resource that is in short supply: Self-restraint.
“Self-restraint, which is a choice, is all that separates armistice and war,” he said in a statement.
“As this alliance missile live-fire shows, we are able to change our choice when so ordered by our alliance national leaders. It would be a grave mistake for anyone to believe anything to the contrary.”
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