The United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says North Korea is “begging for war” as the U.N. Security Council meets on Monday to discuss North Korea’s latest nuclear test.
“Enough is enough. War is never something the United States wants. We don’t want it now. But our country’s patience is not unlimited,” Haley said.
South Korea's defense ministry said Monday it had found signs North Korea was preparing to test another ballistic missile. The ministry also announced plans to temporarily send four more launchers for the THAAD missile defense system.
Hours before the security council meeting, South Korea’s military fired missiles into the Sea of Japan. It was an exercise meant to look like an attack on North Korea’s nuclear test site.
North Korea nuclear test
Over the weekend, North Korea said it tested a hydrogen bomb small enough to be carried by an intercontinental ballistic missile. The North claimed the test was a “perfect success.”
A U.S. intelligence official said the nuclear device detonated by North Korea on Sunday was 10 times more powerful than its fifth nuclear test a year ago.
“We're highly confident this was a test of an advanced nuclear device and what we've seen so far is not inconsistent with North Korea's claims,” the intelligence official said.
US warns of 'massive military response'
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, repeated the warnings of President Donald Trump on Sunday. He said that North Korea can expect a “massive military response” if it threatens the United States, the U.S. territory of Guam or America's allies.
White House officials said the president has a range of retaliatory measures available to the U.S., including nuclear weapons.
Experts reacting to Secretary Mattis’s comments are hoping for diplomatic discussions instead of more tough military talk.
Frank Aum is a visiting scholar at the U.S.-Korea Institute. He said the United States needs to “get away from a military-centric approach to the North Korea problem set and reinvigorate diplomacy.”
The president, leaving a church service near the White House earlier Sunday, said only, “We'll see” when a reporter asked if he was planning to order an attack on North Korea.
Trump might consider trade option
On Twitter, Trump said he is considering stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea, raising questions about what this could mean for U.S.-China commercial ties and the two countries' $650 billion in annual trade.
Any U.S. call for an economic boycott of countries doing business with North Korea would focus on China because Beijing is North Korea's major ally and its trading partner.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he would prepare a new package of North Korea economic sanctions along these lines for consideration.
“We will work with our allies. We will work with China,” Mnuchin told a television interviewer Sunday. “But people need to cut off North Korea economically. This is unacceptable behavior.”
I’m Pete Musto.
Dorothy Gundy adapted this story for Learning English based on VOA and AP news reports. Hai Do was the editor. We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.
Words in This Story
patience – n. the ability to wait for a long time without becoming annoyed or upset
ballistic missile – n. a weapon that is shot through the sky over a great distance and then falls to the ground and explodes
detonate(d) – v. to cause something, such as a bomb, to explode
confident – adj. to strongly believe that something will happen or that something is true
inconsistent – adj. not always acting or behaving in the same way
retaliatory – adj. something bad that is done to someone who has hurt you or treated you badly
scholar – n. a person who has studied a subject for a long time and knows a lot about it
reinvigorate – v. to return life and energy to someone or something
church – n. a building that is used for Christian religious services
sanction(s) – n. an action that is taken or an order that is given to force a country to obey international laws by limiting or stopping trade with that country or by not allowing economic aid for that country