US threatens to cut off trade with countries doing business in North Korea

haley AP FBN

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday called for the cessation of trade with any nation that continues to do business with North Korea in violation of U.N. resolutions.

“There are countries that are allowing, even encouraging, trade [with North Korea],” Haley said during a speech before the United Nations Security Council Wednesday. “Such countries would also like to continue their trade relations with the United States. That’s not going to happen … We will not look exclusively at North Korea. We will look at any country that chooses to do business with this outlaw regime.”

Haley said the numerous sanctions implemented by the U.N. against North Korea in response to its escalating armament program have been “insufficient” and the global alliance must do more in order to have an impact. She said in the coming days she would be proposing a fresh round of punitive financial measures before the international body.

“The world is on notice. If we act together we can still prevent catastrophe,” Haley said.

The U.S. ambassador also mentioned that 90% of North Korea’s trade is sponsored by China, a country she said ultimately bears the most responsibility to enforce economic sanctions against Pyongyang.

Earlier in the day President Donald Trump sent out a tweet questioning the efficacy of China’s efforts to derail North Korea’s nuclear quest in light on its first intercontinental ballistic missile launch earlier this week.

China has increasingly become North Korea’s economic lifeline. In the first quarter of 2017, China’s economic data showed a more than 37% rise in trade with North Korea over the same period in 2016, according to reports from The New York Times, including a nearly 55% jump in Chinese exports to Pyongyang.

The Trump administration made clear their decision to ask China for economic help with North Korea, though now the White House appears to be expressing frustration at the perceived lack of effort and progress.

North Korea’s state media claimed the missile, fired off Tuesday, reached an altitude of more than 1,740 miles and flew 580 miles. This has caused experts to speculate the missile’s range could surpass 4,000 miles, putting many United States military bases, and even Alaska, within striking distance.

President Trump left Andrews Air Force Base on Wednesday morning, headed to meet with leaders from Poland ahead of the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Hamburg, Germany. While European leaders are anxious to discuss U.S. trade and climate policies at the international meeting, North Korea will undoubtedly be a prominent topic on the agenda. President Trump is also expected to meet for the second time with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

On Wednesday, Haley also said the United States was prepared to defend itself with military force if necessary.