UNITED NATIONS — The US ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday called for stiffening sanctions against North Korea and perhaps even punishing those who continue to help it, even as she acknowledged that there was no consensus yet with the North’s powerful backers in China.
“We have to turn around and tell the entire international community: You either support North Korea or you support us,” the ambassador, Nikki Haley, told reporters. “The United States is not past looking at third-country entities who are helping North Korea and putting sanctions against them. If you’re supporting North Korea, you’re against the rest of the international community.”
Haley’s comments came as the UN Security Council met to discuss how to respond to North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test over the weekend. Asked if China had agreed to new sanctions, Haley said: “We don’t have it done yet. We are working with Beijing along with South Korea as well as Japan.”
She also pointedly reminded Russia that the North’s latest missile test had reached close to Russia’s border.
“You either support North Korea or you don’t,” she said. “But you have to choose; you have to pick a side.”
“Not one country is immune to the threat from North Korea,” she added.
In South Korea, South Korean and US officials have agreed to use all means, “including sanctions and dialogue,” to try to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program, the South’s presidential office said Tuesday after a meeting with an aide to President Trump.
The aide, Matthew Pottinger, Asia director on the National Security Council, met with Chung Eui-yong, an adviser to the new South Korean president, and other foreign policy aides in Seoul, the capital.
In their meeting at the Blue House, the presidential palace, the two sides followed up on a recent telephone conversation between President Moon Jae-in and Trump, who agreed to hold a summit meeting soon in Washington.
On Tuesday, Pottinger and Chung agreed to work toward a summit meeting in late June, said Moon’s spokesman, Yoon Young-chan.
The countries also confirmed that Moon and Trump shared four broad principles in dealing with the North Korean nuclear crisis, Yoon said.
“First, the ultimate goal is to completely dismantle the North Korean nuclear weapons,” he said. “Second, to that end, both sides will employ all means, including sanctions and dialogue. Third, dialogue with North Korea is possible when the circumstances are right. Fourth, to achieve these goals, South Korea and the United States will pursue drastic and practical joint approaches.”
Pottinger’s visit came two days after North Korea launched a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile, considered more powerful than any other missile North Korea has deployed. The successful test Sunday highlighted the North’s growing missile and nuclear threats.
Unlike his two conservative predecessors, Moon, a liberal, has emphasized the importance of dialogue in dealing with North Korea, saying that his predecessors’ hard line, which focused on sanctions, had failed to prevent the North from expanding its nuclear weapons and missiles arsenal.