North Korea provocations: ‘All options’ still on the table, says Nikki Haley

Following the United Nations Security Council’s decision to put new sanctions on North Korea, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday “all options,” including a military one, are still available.

“The United States will respond based on North Korea’s actions,” Haley told Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.” “We hope that they don’t do anything further. We hope that they stop this reckless activity, we hope we don’t have to do anything, but all options have always been on the table and will continue to be on the table.”

The resolution, approved unanimously by the Security Council on Saturday, comes as a result of the communist country’s multiple ballistic missile tests and efforts to develop a nuclear warhead, and targets North Korea’s economy, including stopping the expansions of joint ventures and the exports of coal, lead, lead ore, iron, iron ore and seafood.

“A third of their trade exports have been hit and we gave them basically a kick in the gut with a billion dollars of sanctions that they’re going to start to feel right away,” Haley said. “It’s going to be very strong and it’s time for North Korea to realize we’re not playing anymore.”

China and Russia, both of which are permanent members of the Security Council and had previously opposed placing new sanctions on the Hermit Kingdom, voted along with the 13 other nations after the latest actions from Kim Jong Un’s regime.

“The entire international community has to: One, make sure they follow through with these sanctions, but two, keep a united voice against North Korea and what they’re doing,” said Haley, who added that the new resolution is the “strongest resolution in a generation.”

President Trump has pressured China, North Korea’s largest trading partner, repeatedly to step in to help diplomatically with the North Korea situation.

“While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!” Trump tweeted in late June.

Just over a week later, the U.S. Treasury Department barred Americans from doing business with the Bank of Dandong, a small Chinese bank on the North Korean border, deeming it a “primary money-laundering concern." Additionally, the U.S. placed sanctions on a Chinese shipping company and two Chinese citizens with ties to North Korea.

Haley added that the U.S. is not seeking a regime change and that the goal is to create better living conditions for North Korean residents.

“I think what you’re seeing is a paranoid leader that thinks that the United States is trying to do something to his control,” she said. “The truth is, what we’re focused on is on the North Korea people, making sure that the human rights aspects improve, making sure that the regime realizes that we’re not going to tolerate this.”