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The US ambassador to the UN warned North Korea will be destroyed if it continues its “reckless behaviour” and forces the United States and its allies to defend themselves against any attack.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union program Nikki Haley said: “If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behaviour, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed, and we all know that and none of us want that.

“None of us want war. But we also have to look at the fact that you are dealing with someone who is being reckless, irresponsible and is continuing to give threats not only to the United States, but to all their allies, so something is going to have to be done.”

She confirmed President Donald Trump’s threats of “fire and fury” towards North Korea was no bluff, days before he is due to speak to the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

Haley added she was perfectly happy to hand the matter to Defence Secretary James Mattis.

“We’re trying every other possibility that we have but there’s a whole lot of military options on the table,” she said.

The threat came just a day after the North carried out yet another successful ballistic missile over Japan claiming America is now in “mortal fear” after proving it has the military power to strike US territory

The rocket, believed to be a intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), flew for about 19 minutes over a distance of about 2,300 miles – far enough to reach the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, which is 2,100 miles from North Korea.

Kim’s regime has now successfully tested two Hwasong-14 long-range rockets over the Pacific Ocean.

Its most recent nuclear test – the most powerful yet – was a sophisticated 120 kiloton hydrogen bomb. detonated last Sunday.

With backing from China and Russia, the UN council voted earlier this week 15-0 to back the US-drafted ban on textile exports and restricting shipments of fuel to Pyongyang.