US military warning to defiant Kim
THE United Nations has run out of options for confronting an increasingly belligerent North Korea, United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has said, presenting a unified front with Trump administration officials who continue to float a military option.
"We have pretty much exhausted all the things that we can do at the Security Council at this point,” Ms Haley told CNN, adding she had "no problem kicking to” US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.
"I think he has plenty of options,” she said.
Mr Mattis recently stressed America's ability to marshal an "overwhelming” and "massive” military response that could result in the "total annihilation” of North Korea.
Ms Haley hints at the limits of diplomacy came before this week's first UN General Assembly of Donald Trump's presidency.
World leaders converging on New York will grapple with confronting North Korea's unrelenting threats and displays of military ability.
After a two-week stretch in which a defiant North Korea has fired missiles over Japan and likely detonated a hydrogen bomb, the country shows no signs of bending to world condemnation and sanctions.
Pyongyang has vowed to press ahead with its nuclear program despite being hit with the second round of UN sanctions in as many months.
All along, the Trump administration has dangled the option of a military response.
Mr Trump sent a cycle of escalating rhetoric whirring in August by warning North Korea that it would face "fire and fury” if it did not relent.
That was "not an empty threat”, Ms Haley told CNN.
"If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behaviour, if the US has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed,” she said.
"And none of us want that.
"None of us want war, We're trying every other possibility that we have, but there's a whole lot of military options on the table”.
Earlier, Mr Trump seemingly taunted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Twitter - referring to him as "Rocket Man”.