Washington: Nikki Haley has defended US president Donald Trump's recent "nuclear button" tweet warning Kim Jong-un of America's might, saying it was required to keep the North Korean leader "on his toes".
Trump last week warned that his "nuclear button" is "much bigger and more powerful" than the one controlled by Kim, days after the North Korean leader said that Pyongyang's nuclear weapons can reach anywhere in the US and threatened that he has a nuclear button on his desk.
Haley, the Indian-American US Ambassador to the UN said that the North Korean regime needs to take a series of steps for talks, a day after Trump said that he is open to talks with the North Korean leader.
The steps include stop testing missiles and nuclear weapons and be willing to talk about banning their nuclear weapons, Haley was quoted as saying by ABC News. Asked if the tweet was a good idea, she said: "I think that he (Trump) always has to keep Kim on his toes. It's very important that we don't ever let him get so arrogant that he doesn't realise the reality of what would happen if he started a nuclear war".
Asked if Trump's statement at Camp David on Saturday meant any reversal of the stated US policy with regard to talks with North Korea, she said "There is no turnaround". "What he (Trump) has basically said is yes, there could be a time where we talk to North Korea but a lot of things have to happen before that actually takes place," Haley said.
They have to stop testing. They have to be willing to talk about banning their nuclear weapons. Those things have to happen, she said. "What we're trying to do is make sure we don't repeat what's happened in the last 25 years. Which is them start to act like they're coming to the table, them ask for a lot of money and then them cheat their way through.
"We're going to be smart this time. We're going to make sure that whatever happens makes the United States safer and make sure that we denuclearise the (Korean) peninsula," Haley said.
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Updated Date: Jan 08, 2018 14:52:27 IST