U.S. warns North Korea against new missile test, plays down talks

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley singles out Iran in New Year’s message

"The freedoms that are enshrined in the United Nations charter are under attack in Iran", she said. "The demonstrations are completely spontaneous", Haley said. They are virtually in every city in Iran. "This is the precise picture of a long oppressed peoples rising up against their dictators".

Washington's Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley dismissed the utility of possible direct talks between North and South Korea, warning that a harder line is necessary in light of reports that Pyongyang might be preparing for more ballistic missile tests.

"The government of Iran is actively attempting to stop social media and other forms of communication that allow their citizens' voices to be heard", Haley said.

Haley condemned Iranian authorities for suppressing the nationwide protests and called on the United Nations to take action before the regime tightens its grip. "Hundreds have been arrested", she added.

"But in pursuing those things, Moon can not succumb to North Korean nuclear blackmail to weaken the South's military alliance with the United States - in the very same New Year's speech, Kim claimed to be able to hit the U.S. with a nuclear weapon". "All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause", Nikki Haley told reporters at the UN's NY headquarters.

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"The global community has a role to play on this", Haley urged.

"We pray that freedom and human rights will carry the day", she said in a statement. "We must not make that mistake again".

In addition to her comments on Iran, Haley doubled down on President Donald Trump's decision to withhold more than $250 million in aid from Pakistan until its government does more to fight jihadists in the region. "I don't think we should be silent".

"We hope that the South and North can sit face to face and discuss the participation of the North Korean delegation at the Pyeongchang Games, as well as other issues of mutual interest for the improvement of inter-Korean ties", Cho told reporters in Seoul, according to Yonhap news agency. "They wanted to see the embassy moved to Jerusalem, and we followed through with that".

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said North Korea might be "trying to drive a wedge of some sort" between the United States and South Korea and added that while it was up to Seoul to decide who it talked to: "We are very skeptical of Kim Jong Un's sincerity in sitting down and having talks".

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