The United States Ambassador to the United Nations said there is an increasing chance for military conflict with North Korea after the country launched an intercontinental ballistic missile.
"Make no mistake, North Korea's launch of an ICBM is a clear and sharp military escalation," said Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., at an emergency Security Council meeting. "Their actions are quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution. The United States is prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves and our allies. One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them, if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction."
North Korea launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile during a test Tuesday, demonstrating long-range capabilities that the Pentagon has yet to see from the country.
A U.S. military official told CNN that the missile has a range of about 3,400 miles. Experts also said that the missile needs more development.
"We should be worried: Every test gets the North Koreans closer to mastering the technology for mounting a nuclear weapon on a ballistic missile powerful enough to strike the United States and its allies," Jean Lee, a North Korea expert at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C., said.
Haley said the United States would introduce a new security resolution that would help cut North Korea’s funding from other countries.
She also echoed a tweet that President Donald Trump sent out Wednesday, saying that countries that have supported North Korea despite international sanctions will be punished.
"The world is on notice," Haley said. "If we act together we can still prevent a catastrophe and we will rid the world of a grave threat. If we fault to act in a serious way, there will be a different response."
Photo: In this handout photo released by the United States Forces Korea, South Korea's Hyunmu-2 Missile System (L) firing a tactical ballistic missile during a U.S. and South Korea joint missile drill aimed to counter North Korea¡¯s intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 5, 2017 in East Coast, South Korea. The U.S. Army and South Korean military responded to North Korea's missile launch with a combined ballistic missile exercise on Wednesday, into South Korean waters along the country's eastern coastline.
Photo courtesy: United States Forces Korea via Getty Images
Publication date: July 6, 2017