Washington: North Korea has certainly made progress in its missile development programme but it is also getting paranoid due to the increasing global isolation, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said today.
US President Donald Trump last month declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, a move that allows the Trump administration to impose additional sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programmes.
Late last month, nuclear-armed North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile which travelled about 1,000 km before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
“This is a serious situation. The missile that they launched not too long ago was much stronger than the one we had seen before. They have made progress,” Haley told CNN.
“But what we have managed to do is, the United States has led and the international community is all with us in isolating North Korea. That’s a very important move. They feel it. They are getting paranoid. They are stressed out about it. But we are going to continue keep up the pressure, because we have to,” she said on North Korea.
The series of international sanctions, she said, has cut off 90 per cent of the North Korean trade, 30 per cent of the oil.
“But every ounce of revenue that North Korea receives, they put towards their nuclear programme. So, the fact that the sanctions have completely squeezed them, that is less money they can put towards that nuclear programme now.
“So, whether people can’t see it, it is helping us tremendously to not have them have the cash that they normally would have had,” Haley said.
Responding to a question on Russia, Haley said that the State Department has fully implemented the sanctions against it.
“From what I have been told, the State Department says they have gone forward with the sanctions on Russia. So I don’t know anything about what you’re talking about, because the State Department has said they have fully implemented that,” she added.
In August, North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan in a major escalation of tensions by Pyongyang.
Five days later, it carried out a sixth nuclear test, sending tensions soaring over its weapons ambitions and causing global concern.