Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley
says a barrage of missile tests shows that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is “in a state of paranoia.”
Haley made the remarks in an interview with ABC News on Sunday after Pyongyang conducted another ballistic missile test over the weekend.
She said that the United States
will continue to “tighten the screws” on the North Korean government.
“Well, I think you first have to get into Kim Jong-un’s head, you know, which is he’s in a state of paranoia. He’s incredibly concerned about anything and everything around him,” Haley told ABC.
“What we’re going to do is continue to tighten the screws. He feels it. He absolutely feels it. And we’re going to continue, whether it’s sanctions, whether it’s press statements, anything that we have to do.”
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley
According to the South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pyongyang launched the missile from Pyongan Province on Sunday morning. The US Pacific Command also confirmed the missile launch.
After flying over 700 kilometers (435 miles), the missile landed in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) surrounded by the Korean Peninsula, Japan and the Russian Far East.
Following the test, the White House called for tougher sanctions against North Korea.
“Let this latest provocation serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea,” the White House said in a brief statement Sunday, adding the country “has been a flagrant menace for far too long.”
President Donald Trump has warned that a “major conflict” with North Korea is “absolutely” possible in the ongoing standoff over its nuclear and missile programs.
The Trump administration has also said all options are on the table, and has sent an aircraft carrier and a nuclear-powered submarine to the region in a show of force.
This US Navy handout photo shows Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers JS Ashigara (DDG 178) and JS Samidare (DD 106), the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as they transit the Philippine Sea on April 28, 2017. (Photo via AFP)
The US military has also begun transporting parts of the controversial THAAD anti-missile system to a planned deployment site in South Korea.
Pyongyang has threatened the US with a nuclear attack in case of a direct military action, and has indicated that weapons tests would continue more frequently.