Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, warned on Wednesday that North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch "brings us closer to war" that the U.S. doesn't seek, The Associated Press reported.
Haley told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday that if war comes as a result of further acts of "aggression" like the latest launch, "make no mistake - the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed."
She noted that the Trump administration warned North Korea that its future is in the hands of its leaders and the choice was theirs.
With Tuesday's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), she said, Kim Jong Un's regime made a choice — "and with this choice comes a critical choice for the rest of the world."
Haley urged all countries to cut all ties to North Korea.
Her comments came after Pyongyang launched an ICBM that flew about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, the Pentagon said.
The country’s state-run television network KCTV later boasted that the ICBM was a Hwasong-15 type missile, which has technical capabilities far superior to the previous Hwasong-14, and can hit the entire U.S.
In a statement, North Korea claimed to be "a responsible nuclear power" and said its nuclear weapons were developed in order to provide protection from "the U.S. imperialists’ nuclear blackmail policy and nuclear threat."
U.S. President Donald Trump said "we will take care of it" when asked by reporters about the launch.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday criticized the North Korean launch, saying it would only provoke further tension and push those involved farther away from compromise.