U.S. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is escalating the rhetoric from Trump's "we'll see" comment and aggressive tweets as she tells an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, that "enough is enough" and that North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, is "begging for war" with his "abusive use of missiles."
Haley admonished the council, urging the "strongest possible" response...
“The time for half measures in the security council is over. The time has come to exhaust all of our diplomatic means before it is too late.
We must now adopt the strongest possible measures. Kim Jong Un’s action cannot be seen as defensive.”
Just last month, the 15-member Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions to slash by a third Pyongyang's US$3 billion annual export revenue, which could be channeled to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Some additional quotes from Haley include:
"We have taken an incremental approach, and despite the best intentions, it hasn't worked."
"War is never something the United States wants, we don't want it now, but our people's patience is not unlimited."
"We have kicked the can down the road long enough. There is no road left."
Finally, Haley warned,
"The United States will view every country that does business with North Korea" as aiding their nuclear ambitions."
Here are the countries that trade with North Korea, based on 2015 data from MIT's Observatory of Economic Complexity.
- China is the biggest player, buying 83% of North Korean exports and selling 85% of the goods that North Korea imports. China is also the United States' largest trade partner. The countries traded $578 billion in goods last year.
- India is second, accounting for 3.5% of exports and 3.1% of imports from North Korea.
- All told, Asian countries buy 92% of North Korean exports and source 93% of North Korean imports
- Russia is a European leader in North Korean trade, but accounts for less than 2% of imports and exports.
- Over 100 additional countries trade with North Korea, including France, Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Chile.
- North Korea's exports increased 54% from $1.83 billion to $2.83 billion from 2010 to 2015.
- Coal comprises a third of North Korean exports, and garments represent another third.
Additionally, in a veiled swipe at China, she also said it is "insulting" to propose a so-called "freeze for freeze" under which South Korea and the U.S. would suspend its annual military exercises that provoke Pyongyang in exchange for a halt to the North's provocations.
Finally, we noted that at the top of the emergency meeting, Axios reports, a top U.N. official said North Korea's hydrogen bomb test blast was 5 times as powerful as those resulting from the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.