Sarah Sanders, McMaster, Haley hold White House briefing

Sep 17, 2017, 00:28
Sarah Sanders, McMaster, Haley hold White House briefing

North Korea conducted its latest ballistic missile test on Thursday in a show of defiance after the United Nations Security Council voted last week to impose the strongest sanctions to date on the rogue nation.

"For those who have said and who have been commenting on a lack of a military option, there is a military option", he said at the White House briefing, though he noted that it was not the administration's preferred route for dealing with the nation's aggressiveness.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters on Friday that North Korea has been "strangled" by sanctions and that, while it is important to pursue diplomatic options, military options remain squarely on the table if sanctions are not effective.

Earlier this week, the UN Security Council agreed to tighten sanctions on North Korea, banning its textile exports and capping fuel supplies. "Now it is not what we would prefer to do".

It was the second time North Korea fired a missile over Japan, and follows days after the country's sixth and largest nuclear test to date.

In New York, the U.N. Security Council unanimously condemned the launch and called it a "highly provocative" act.

"We try and push through as many diplomatic options as we have", Haley said during the White House briefing. "The United Kingdom stands with the people of Japan in face of this awful, egregious, illegal, provocative, reckless act by the North Korean regime, which once again demonstrates their complete disregard for the sovereignty and the citizens of one of their neighbours", the British Ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft told reporters after the meeting of the Security Council.

The increasing levels of sanctions are expected to cut off 90 percent of North Korea's trade.

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