With a naval blockade for enforcing U.N sanctions being one of the military options available in the U.S. repertoire, North Korea’s only ally has begun naval war games with Russia in the Korean peninsula.
The U.N Security Council has run out of options to contain North Korea’s nuclear program, thus leaving the U.S. of no option but to hand over the matter to the Pentagon, said Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
“We have pretty much exhausted all the things that we can do at the Security Council at this point,” said Haley to CNN’s “State of the Union,”. She went on to add, she preferred handing over the problem to U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis.
With world leaders, gathering at the U.N headquarters in NY for the annual General Assembly meeting this week, Haley’s comments at the gathering are indicative of the fact that the United States will not hesitate to use its military option against the China-backed North Korean leadership.
Haley’s comments come in the wake of North Korea’s missile launch over Japan on Thursday which fell far into the Pacific Ocean. The launch was in defiance of new U.N. Security Council sanctions banning its textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.
North Korea’s only ally, China has demanded that the U.S. stop making military threats to North Korea.
When asked on U.S. President Donald Trump’s response that the North Korean threat would be met by “fire and fury,” Haley said, “It was not an empty threat.”.
“If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed. And we all know that. And none of us want that. None of us want war,” said Haley to CNN. “We’re trying every other possibility that we have, but there’s a whole lot of military options on the table”.
North Korea has accelerated its weapons program aimed at launching nuclear missiles at the U.S. Pyongyang has said it wants to achieve military “equilibrium” with the United States.
On Sunday, he added, ”This regime is so close now to threatening the United States and others with a nuclear weapon, that we really have to move with a great sense of urgency on sanctions, on diplomacy and preparing, if necessary, a military option”.
The military options in Trump’s repertoire include a sea blockade aimed at enforcing U.N sanctions, cruise missile strikes on nuclear and missile facilities, and a broad military campaign at ejecting the North Korean leadership.
The military option could however have significant consequences for its ally – South Korea.
China and North Korea fear that the U.S. goal is of a regime change in Pyongyang.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” that the United States wants to peaceful and an amicable resolution to the North Korean issue.
“We have tried a couple of times to signal to them that we’re ready, when they’re ready,” said Tillerson . “And they have responded with more missile launches and a nuclear test.”