America has warned that North Korea is “begging for war” amid fears Kim Jong-un’s regime is preparing to launch a ballistic missile.
Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, on Monday afternoon told an emergency meeting of the Security Council that “enough is enough”, adding that while America does not want war, “our country’s patience is not unlimited”.
Military leaders in South Korea claim to have seen indications that the North is preparing an attack and believe it has successfully miniaturised a nuclear weapon to fit onto an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Sunday’s nuclear test by North Korea had an estimated strength of 50 kilotons – three times bigger than the US device that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 – Seoul defence ministry officials told a parliamentary briefing on Monday, as they agreed “it is time to strengthen” a military response.
The South responded to the nuclear test, which the North claimed was of a hydrogen bomb, with live-fire drills off its eastern coast on Monday that were meant to simulate an attack on the North’s main test site.
North Korea responded on Monday that its enemies are “hell-bent on escalating confrontation”, as it launched a scathing attack on the “warmongers” in Seoul.
The UN Security Council is holding its second emergency meeting about North Korea in a week in New York to discuss responses to the test. Last August, it imposed sanctions targeting North Korean exports.
China has warned North Korea against proceeding with plans to launch another ballistic missile, saying it should not worsen tensions, but said Donald Trump’s trade threat was “unacceptable”.
America has warned that any threat to itself or its allies would be met with a “massive military response“, but British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson cautioned against a military strike.
Downing Street on Monday restated the UK’s “overwhelming” preference for a “peaceful and diplomatic resolution”.
Stay with us for the latest updates throughout the day amid the ongoing tensions.