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(LEAD) U.S. envoy to U.N. calls for 'strongest possible' sanctions against N.K.

All Headlines 00:00 September 05, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with more remarks, background from 5th para; ADDS photo)

NEW YORK, Sept. 4 (Yonhap) -- The United States ambassador to the United Nations urged the global body Monday to adopt the "strongest possible" sanctions against North Korea over its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

Amb. Nikki Haley made the appeal during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council that was convened after North Korea tested what it claimed to be an H-bomb on Sunday.

"To the members of the Security Council, I must say, 'enough is enough,'" she said. "The time has come to exhaust all of our diplomatic means before it's too late. We must now adopt the strongest possible measures."

She added, "Only the strongest sanctions will enable us to resolve this problem through diplomacy."

This AFP file photo shows U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. (Yonhap)

Just last month, the 15-member Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions to slash by a third Pyongyang's US$3 billion annual export revenue, which could be channeled to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. They were a response to North Korea's two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July, and included a ban on exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood.

Haley pointed out problems with the implementation of sanctions that have been adopted over North Korea's past ballistic missile and nuclear tests.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wants to be acknowledged as a nuclear power, she noted, but his "abusive" use of missiles and nuclear weapons shows he is "begging for war."

"War is never something the United States wants," Haley said. "We don't want it now. But our country's patience is not unlimited."

In a veiled swipe at China, she also said it is "insulting" to propose a so-called "freeze for freeze" under which South Korea and the U.S. would suspend its annual military exercises that provoke Pyongyang in exchange for a halt to the North's provocations.

She also made clear that the U.S. will view countries that do business with North Korea as a country that gives aid to its nuclear program.

"We have kicked the can down the road long enough. There's no more road left," she said.


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