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Haley says Trump needs to keep Kim ‘on his toes’

Jan 09,2018
WASHINGTON - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Sunday defended President Donald Trump’s controversial tweets on North Korea, saying he needs to keep the North’s leader “on his toes.”

Last week, Trump boasted that his “nuclear button” is “much bigger and more powerful” than that of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He sent the tweet after Kim warned the United States that a nuclear button sits on his desk at all times.

Critics accused Trump of trivializing the possibility of nuclear war.

“I think that he always has to keep Kim on his toes,” Haley said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.” “It’s very important that we don’t ever let him get so arrogant that he doesn’t realize the reality of what would happen if he started a nuclear war.”

Tensions escalated to new levels last year as Pyongyang accelerated its testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles designed to strike anywhere in the United States.

“We’re not going to let them go and dramatize the fact that they have a button right on their desk and they can destroy America,” Haley said. “We want to always remind them we can destroy you, too, so be very cautious and careful with your words and what you do.”

In a break from his fiery rhetoric, Trump expressed willingness on Saturday to speak directly with Kim, but based on a “very firm stance.”

The ambassador explained that Trump’s statement meant the North would have to first stop its weapons testing and then demonstrate it would get rid of its nuclear arsenal.

That South Korea and North Korea are meeting today to talk about the Olympics will be a “good thing,” she added. “Those two countries have to get along. That’s good for the United States that they can at least start getting back into talks,” Haley said.