Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that with limited diplomatic options, she would be “perfectly happy” to hand responsibility for dealing with North Korea over to Secretary of Defense Jim “Mattis because he has plenty of military options.”
“We have pretty much exhausted all the things that we could do at the Security Council at this point,” Haley told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday.
Haley declined to clear up what Trump meant when told reporters last month that North Korea “will be met with fire and fury and, frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before” if it continued to threaten the United States. North Korea has conducted three more missile tests since Trump’s comment.
“You have to ask the President what fire and fury meant,” Haley said. “But I think we all know that basically if North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed.”
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster echoed Haley’s comments in an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”
“This regime is so close now to threatening the United States and others with a nuclear weapon that we really have to move with a great deal of urgency on sanctions, on diplomacy and on preparing if necessary a military option,” McMaster said.
In a separate interview on ABC’s “This Week,” George Stephanopoulos asked McMaster to clear up a cryptic tweet Trump sent out on Sunday morning. “I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night,” Trump tweeted. “Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!”
“I assume ‘Rocket Man’ is Kim Jong Un?,” Stephanpoulos asked.
“Well, it’s — it appears to be so,” McMaster said. “That is where the rockets and missiles are coming from, is North Korea.”