Nikki Haley: US will ‘tighten the screws’ on North Korean nuclear program

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley pledged Tuesday that the US plans to “tighten the screws” on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley pledged Tuesday that the US plans to “tighten the screws” on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

“We are going to send a very strong, unified message to North Korea,” she said.

Haley’s comments at the UN, alongside ambassadors from Japan and South Korea, came days after North Korea tested another ballistic missile. In her remarks, she warned nations around the world not to economically assist the nation.

“If you are supporting North Korea, you are against the rest of the international community,” Haley said.

Haley said the international community wants to be able to support North Korea, but as long as it continues trying to grow its nuclear program with missile tests, North Korea would remain an “island.”

Haley said a plan is still in the works between the US, Japan, South Korea and China — North Korea’s only major ostensible ally — to halt North Korea’s progress on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. She said that when China put economic pressure on North Korea, other countries were trying to fill the void, which she said the US would not tolerate. Any country that did not look at putting new sanctions on North Korea was, in effect, helping the isolated nation, she said.

“The United States is not past looking at third country entities who are helping North Korea and putting sanctions on them,” Haley said.

Haley also criticized Russia, after Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to North Korea’s latest missile launch by saying that while his country opposed the North Korean nuclear program, it was unacceptable for countries to intimidate North Korea.

“What about North Korea intimidating us?” Haley said, adding that Russia had it “all wrong.”

On the non-nuclear front, a reporter asked what the US would do if it was confirmed that North Korea had been behind the recent, major ransomware program plaguing computer systems across the globe.

Haley said, “Sadly, it wouldn’t be a surprise,” and called on every country to take action.