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US Issues Rare Ultimatum To China, Warns Of Military Force Against North Korea

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The U.S. issued a stern warning to both China and North Korea in the wake of a successful North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile test.

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that Beijing risks trade with the U.S. if it continues to trade with North Korea in violation of sanctions, according to the Associated Press. She also reminded Pyongyang that the application of military force is an option which remains on the table. “One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must.”

Haley explained that North Korea’s actions are “quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution,” Reuters reports.

North Korea tested a new ICBM — the Hwasong-14 — Tuesday. Expert observers suspect that the missile could have a range of about 4,000 miles, although some believe the missile may be able to strike targets at even greater distances.

In the aftermath, President Donald Trump called out China on Twitter.

In particular, he highlighted Chinese trade with North Korea.

North Korea has tested several new missile systems this year, including short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, as well as surface-to-air and coastal defense cruise missiles. The Trump administration initially pinned its hopes on China for a resolution, but limited action on China’s part coupled with the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student returned home in a coma after a year in detention in North Korea, and the shocking ICBM test Tuesday, have dashed those hopes. The president’s recent tweets highlight Trump’s growing frustration with China’s unwillingness to stop North Korea in a way that advances U.S. interests.

Trump said in April that China will get a far better trade deal if it helps on North Korea.

Now, the U.S., assuming Haley speaks for the administration, is threatening China’s trade with the U.S. if it fails to address the North Korean nuclear threat. She also indicated that the U.S. will sanction other countries that aid the reclusive North Korean regime, putting “the world on notice.”

Some “countries would also like to continue their trade arrangements with the United States,” Haley said Wednesday. “That’s not going to happen. Our attitude on trade changes when countries do not take international security threats seriously.”

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