Nikki Haley: Talks Between North And South Korea Are A ‘Distraction’

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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The U.S. is wise to North Korea’s game and is not going to play, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said Wednesday.

North and South Korea are talking again after two years of silence, but these exchanges are little more than a “distraction,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley argued in an exclusive interview with Voice of America’s Greta Van Susteren.

“I think this is a distraction. I think this is doing what North Korea has always done,” Haley explained. “We’re not going to play the same game we’ve always played.” The State Department asserted Wednesday that the U.S. does not believe now is the right time for talks.

“Just because North and South Korea are holding hands today doesn’t mean that threat hasn’t gone away,” she said, adding: “The United States and the international community is going to keep up the pressure on North Korea” until it abandons its pursuit of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction.

Haley stressed the U.S. is “fine” with the bilateral exchanges between the two Koreas, but while the South plans its “peace Olympics,” the U.S. will focus on the nuclear threat which persists.

The North and South “can go and have those regional cooperation on that level, but at the end of the day, we still have nuclear missiles in North Korea that they continue to test, and they continue to threaten the United States and the world with. So, we’re going to keep that at the forefront,” she further commented.

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In an exclusive interview with Reuters Wednesday, President Donald Trump, as he has done in the past, offered support to the talks going on in Korea, but he questioned the effectiveness of dialogue. “I‘m not sure that talks will lead to anything meaningful. They’ve talked for 25 years and they’ve taken advantage of our presidents, of our previous presidents,” he explained.

“They get closer every day,” the president said of North Korea’s ability to reliably strike the continental U.S. with a nuclear-armed ballistic missile. Trump is willing to sit down with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, but said he is “not sure that sitting down will solve the problem.”

U.S. leaders have been kicking the can that is North Korea down the road for decades, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told Fox News Wednesday. “There’s no road left,” he said, explaining that North Korea cannot be allowed to possess a nuclear arsenal.

Asked if war is on the horizon, Kelly answered: “I hope not.”

“We’re playing a very, very hard game of poker, and you do not want to reveal your hand,” the president replied when asked if he was considering a pre-emptive strike on the North.

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