North Korea is “begging for war” and must be bludgeoned with global sanctions, the U.S. ambassador warned the U.N. Security Council in the wake of the hermit kingdom’s test of a purported hydrogen bomb.

“Enough is enough. War is never something the United States wants. We don’t want it now. But our country’s patience is not unlimited,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who added that the U.S. will scrutinize countries doing business with North Korea — which include China — as it prepares to circulate a resolution this week.

“The United States will look at every country that does business with North Korea as a country, that is giving aid to their reckless and dangerous nuclear intentions,” she said.

Haley’s comments come just weeks after the United Nations imposed its stiffest sanctions yet on North Korea, only to see Pyongyang launch a missile over Japan last week and on Sunday conduct an underground nuclear test of what it claims was a hydrogen bomb.

President Trump spoke with South Korean President Moon Jae-in yesterday by phone. Both leaders agreed to remove the limit on the payload of South Korean missiles.

Earlier in the day, South Korea’s defense minister, Song Young-moo, said he had asked the U.S. to send strategic assets such as U.S. aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines to the Korean peninsula. The United States had withdrawn all of its tactical nuclear weapons from the area in 1991.

Where the escalating showdown goes next is unclear. In the U.N., a U.S. resolution could face blowback from China and Russia, who have proposed what Haley dubbed a “freeze for freeze” agreement: North Korea suspends its nuclear and missile development, but only if the U.S. and South Korea suspend their joint military exercises.

Bay State U.S. Rep. William Keating, the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, said he’s particularly interested to see the response of China, North Korea’s largest trading partner, given the latest test came on the day Chinese President Xi Jinping was hosting a high-profile economic summit.

“That,” Keating said, “was an affront to China directly. That’s surprising that they would do that so blatantly to the Chinese. So I want to see if there’s a reaction from the Chinese in terms of their willingness to go further on sanctions.

“Things are coming to a boiling point,” Keating added. “I hope they boil over diplomatically.”

Russia appeared to dismiss Haley’s calls yesterday for more sanctions. “Resolutions aimed solely at sanctioning North Korea have not worked well before,” Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya told reporters.

Some analysts also voiced doubt that increased sanctions could have any impact.

Jeffrey Lewis, a North Korea expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said such a move is already too late.

“I don’t think North Korea will buckle to this sort of pressure,” Lewis said. “You’re kind of down to the idea, ‘We’ll make life in North Korea so miserable that North Korea will stop.’ But that never happens. You’re sanctioning a country that has already adjusted to a series of sanctions.”

Herald wires services contributed to this report.

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