President Donald Trump celebrated on Tuesday that the international community has seemingly come together in response to North Korea’s ever advancing nuclear weapons program, warning that nations “must be tough & decisive!”
“After many years of failure, countries are coming together to finally address the dangers posed by North Korea. We must be tough & decisive!” Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning.
The president’s message of international unity in the face of North Korean saber-rattling follows a fresh package of sanctions approved unanimously over the weekend by the United Nations Security Council intended to punish North Korea for its nuclear program. That the sanctions passed the Security Council with the support of China – North Korea’s chief international patron and trade partner – was a notable development from past precedent.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show that she could not guarantee that the sanctions, which target key sources of revenue for North Korea including coal and other minerals, would be effective in deterring the regime of dictator Kim Jong Un from making further progress on obtaining a nuclear missile.
North Korea, in recent weeks, has tested missiles that could have the potential to strike the continental U.S., an escalation that has been accompanied by the typical bellicose rhetoric from the Kim regime. The North Korean government has previously tested nuclear devices but it is unclear if it possesses one that has been miniaturized small enough to fit atop a ballistic missile.
Past sanction packages, including those passed by the UN Security Council, have been limited in their effectiveness in large part because they are less than fully enforced by China. But Haley was optimistic Tuesday morning that China would finally get tough with North Korea this time around.
“We will now be watching to see who is enforcing but more importantly than that, China stepped up and not only said they were going to vote for this, they announced they were going to enforce and they encouraged every other country to enforce. So, this was serious,” Haley said. “You have to remember that for China the last missile launch took place right next to their border. Their ground actually shook. The Chinese people felt it. They know this is serious.”