Tags: Donald Trump | Nikki Haley | North Korea | War on Terrorism | war | fight | missile

Nikki Haley to North Korea: 'Don't Give Us a Reason' to Fight

NBC's "Today"

By    |   Monday, 24 April 2017 08:44 AM

North Korean President Kim Jong Un is starting to flex his muscles because he is feeling international pressure, but the United States "is not looking for a fight," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Monday.

"Last week, the [U.N.] Security Council unanimously condemned what North Korea is doing with their [missile] testing," Haley told NBC's "Today." "China has been putting pressure on him, and he's trying to show strength to his country."

The United States has been talking about containing North Korea for decades, but now, China is working for the first time as "our partner in holding him at bay," Haley said.

"It's a new day when you have China and the United States working together on a statement to condemn North Korea," Haley said. "They put pressure on him. He feels it, and that's why he's responding this way.

"What we said from the beginning, and I will continue to say, the United States is not looking for a fight. Don't give us a reason to have one."

Haley said she does not believe, with Kim's increasingly aggressive statements, the United States has reached the point of no return with its words.

"Keep in mind, he's trying to get the confidence of his own people," said Haley. "When he does these things, he's not doing them to all of us, as much as he's trying to prove to his own people he can handle this.

"He's very much starting to feel the pressure. You're starting to see him get paranoid . . . we have to keep the pressure up."

Further, Haley is not concerned the United States' words will force Kim into what "Today" co-anchor Matt Lauer called a "catastrophic mistake."

"If there's a catastrophic mistake it's going to be because he's continuing to instigate an issue," Haley said. "We're going to continue to be stable. We're going to continue to have the international community stable.

"It's the reason that none of us are even trying to pick a fight with him, but we'll have to wait and see. What I can tell you is the international community is very united."

She emphasized the Trump administration does not plan to do anything, including a preemptive strike, to North Korea unless Kim "gives us reason to do something."

"If you see him attack a military base, if you see an intercontinental ballistic missile, obviously, we're going to do that," Haley said. "Right now, we're saying don't test. Don't use nuclear missiles. Don't do anymore actions. I think he's understanding that, and China is helping put that pressure on."

Clarifying on "Today" what she meant by "obviously, we're going to do that," Haley said she meant if a drastic action happens, "then the president steps in and decides what's going to happen."

Haley, also appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America," commented to anchor George Stephanopoulos that South Korea has been an ally from the very beginning, and the United States will go on protecting the nation.

"North Korea has done nothing but give every reason why we need to have military exercises in South Korea," Haley said. "We're not backing down from South Korea, and North Korea needs to get in line. China has been great in helping us do that."

Haley also addressed Sunday's news North Korea has detained another U.S. citizen, making three Americans now being held in the country.

"It's hard to get information out of North Korea, obviously," Haley said. "We're doing everything we can. Again, this is him trying to pick a fight with us. And what we're going to have to do is work very hard to find out information and see what we need to do to get the three out safely."

Later, on CBS's "This Morning," Haley said the detention of Tony Kim, an accounting professor at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, is another sign North Korea is trying to show its strength, but "it's not going to work."

"These are challenging times, but it's not one where we're afraid to make a decision, and I think we're going to handle it properly," Haley said. "I think it absolutely is a garning chip . . . what we're dealing with is a leader who is flailing right now, and I think what he's trying to do is show his citizens that he has muscle, whether it's through his rhetoric or actions."

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North Korean President Kim Jong Un is starting to flex his muscles because he is feeling international pressure, but the United States "is not looking for a fight," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Monday.
war, fight, missile, pressure
Monday, 24 April 2017 08:44 AM
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