- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 17, 2017

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley warned Sunday that “North Korea will be destroyed” if the United States is forced to defend itself from the increasingly aggressive rogue state.

Days before President Trump’s first speech before the U.N. General Assembly, Ms. Haley said that “we’ve pretty much exhausted all the things we can do at the [U.N.] Security Council at this point.”

“I think we all know that basically 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,” Ms. Haley told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Ms. Haley added that, “None of us want war. But you also have look at the fact that you are dealing with someone who has been reckless, irresponsible and is continuing to give threats not only to the United States but to all of their allies.”

The U.N. Security Council adopted 15-0 a second round of economic sanctions aimed at cutting back North Korea’s access to oil, textile and other products following two missile tests in the last month over Japanese airspace.

Mr. Trump is scheduled to speak Tuesday before the United Nations General Assembly, an institution he has criticized in the past, but Ms. Haley insisted that it’s a “new day” at the U.N.

“What you are now seeing is that the Israel-bashing has become more balanced,” she said. “You’ve got a United Nations that’s action-oriented. We’re passed two resolutions on North Korea in the last two months. And you’ve also got a United Nations that is totally moving toward reform.”

She fought for and won a $570 billion cut for U.N. peacekeeping missions starting July 1, reducing the budget from $7.87 to $7.3 million. The United States is the single largest funder of the U.N., contributing 22 percent of the U.N. budget.

“You have a secretary general who’s come out with a massive reform package,” she said. “We said that we needed to get value for our dollar, and what we’re finding that the international community is right there with us.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she was very concerned about North Korea’s rapid nuclear buildup.

“I have never been in a state of greater concern about this nation and Korea because there’s a certain recklessness on the other side,” she said on CNN. “They have very powerful weapons. They’ve done six nuclear tests.”

The California Democrat added, “We know that they can hit anywhere within the United States now and they’ve done this in a relatively short time,” she said on CNN.

At the same time, Ms. Feinstein said she disagreed with the Trump administration’s policy of not negotiating with North Koran to ends its nuclear program.

Instead, she suggested a verifiable freeze of the nuclear program and missile arsenal, which she said she believed China would support.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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