North Korea Missile Test 'Not the Way to Sit Down' With Trump: Nikki Haley

Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley presents her credentials to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at U.N. headquarters in New York City
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, at U.N. headquarters in New York.STEPHANIE KEITH / Reuters

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 
By Saphora Smith and Stella Kim

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, blasted North Korea's latest missile test Sunday, saying it "is not the way to sit down" with President Donald Trump.

Haley warned that the United States would continue to "tighten the screws" on the isolated nation and said North Korean leader Kim-Jong Un was in a "state of paranoia."

Her comments came hours after North Korea launched a ballistic missile that flew about 430 miles before crashing into the sea, U.S. and South Korean military officials said, in what appeared to be the latest missile test in defiance of U.N. sanctions.

The missile was launched at 5:27 a.m. Sunday Seoul time (4:27 p.m. Saturday ET), off Kusong north of the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, a South Korean military official told NBC News.

North Korea's state-run news agency, KCNA, said the military conducted a "successful launch of a surface-to-surface mid- to long-range rocket of the Hwasung-12 type.

Reuters quoted the agency as saying Monday that the test was aimed at verifying the capability to carry a "large-scale heavy nuclear warhead." The assertion couldn't be confirmed; many North Korean claims later turn out to have been exaggerated.

Haley said on ABC's "This Week" that the test appeared to be intended to send a message to South Korea and that North Korea’s missile program was "getting kind of close to home" for Russia.

Related: North Korea Launches Ballistic Missile in New Test

Earlier Sunday, the White House press secretary’s office said in a statement that "North Korea has been a flagrant menace for far too long."

The White House also suggested that Russia should be concerned. "With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil — in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan — the President cannot imagine that Russia is pleased," the White House statement said.

Image: Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, at the United Nations in New York in April. Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The escalating tensions came the day after a top North Korean diplomat said Pyongyang would be willing to meet with the Trump administration for negotiations "if the conditions are set."

And Trump had opened the door earlier this month to talks, saying he would be "honored" to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The missile test came as a first test to newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who called for the National Security Council to meet on the matter, a presidential spokesperson said.

Reuters contributed.
MORE FROM news