North Korea’s missile test this weekend may have been a case of the country’s leader, Kim Jong-Un, suffering from a “state of paranoia,” according to a top diplomat.
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, suggested the test was a message to South Korea after a new president took office there, and suggested that the U.S. will continue to “tighten the screws” on North Korea after the latest incident.
Haley warned that such launches are not the path to Kim holding talks with President Donald Trump and the United States of America.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 14, 2017
Trump has claimed he’d be “honored” to meet Kim, having called the North Korea leader a “smart cookie.” Meanwhile, a North Korean diplomat who deals with American affairs suggested that the country would be open to talks with the U.S. if the conditions were amenable.
However, Haley said Sunday that such talks could not happen while North Korea persists with missile tests.
The missile apparently has a longer range than those North Korea has tested in recent times, according to the Washington Post, pointing to the country potentially testing a new type of missile.
The missile flew around 435 miles into the sea. It took approximately 30 minutes to reach that point, having reached an altitude of around 1,200 miles. One expert suggested that on a standard trajectory, rather than the higher-than-usual altitude this one reached, the missile could have a potential range of 2,800 miles, which would put Guam, an American territory, within its reach.
As such, the North Korea missile tests won’t earn the country a seat at the table with the U.S. anytime soon, Haley said.
“Having a missile test is not the way to sit down with the president because he’s absolutely not going to do it,” the ambassador said on This Week on ABC News, according to the Post. “Until he meets our conditions, we’re not sitting down with him.”
North Korea has said in recent years it would have discussions with the U.S. as long as said talks stayed clear of any notion of the country killing off its nuclear weapons program. However, that’s not going to work for the U.S., which will not agree to talks unless North Korea is open to suspending or freezing its nuclear program.
The latest missile launch comes as the Belt and Road Forum opens in Beijing, which lays out a development project from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Some are hoping that the test and summit will lead to China, an ally of North Korea, having an impetus to pressure Kim into halting nuclear and missile tests through its trade links, which Trump has been calling for Xi to do.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 14, 2017
South Korea President Moon Jae-in said the act was a “reckless provocation,” according to the BBC.
“The president said while South Korea remains open to the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, it is only possible when the North shows a change in attitude,” his spokesman said.
Trump, meanwhile, is seeking “stronger sanctions” against North Korea.
The White House said Trump cannot imagine Russia is pleased with the latest test since the missile landed close to Russian territory. Russian President Vladimir Putin was concerned about the missile, according to the Kremlin.
An unusual Trump administration statement on North Korea – it begins with a Russian perspective. pic.twitter.com/NQuVlM3Hey
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) May 14, 2017
The UN Security Council is expected to hold imminent talks after the latest incident.
The missile test is the latest in a series conducted by North Korea this year. Two tests last month failed, with the devices exploding soon after takeoff.
The latest missile is not believed to have been an intercontinental ballistic missile, though North Korea is believed to be working on two such devices.
Yet the latest missile could point to significant advancements in technology for the nation, and it may well be that a North Korea missile capable of reaching mainland American shores will be a reality in the near future.
[Featured Image by Wong Maye-E/AP Images]