'The fallout could come here' - NZ not immune if US-North Korea tensions escalate, says US Ambassador



1 NEWS | Associated Press

The US Ambassador to New Zealand says we could be impacted if North Korea detonates a bomb, as tensions rise between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong un. 

Scott Brown, Donald Trump's man in Wellington, told Stuff Kiwis don't understand the consequences of action between the two states. 

"They understand 'gosh we're so far away and it really doesn't affect us', well, it does if [Kim Jong Un] decides to drop a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean," he said. 

"The fallout could come here."

"It could affect the fishing and all the sea life. It'd dramatically affect climate and economy and the ability to travel freely in that region without being contaminated so yeah, it does affect New Zealand."

He told world leaders he was putting America first.
Source: Associated Press

Yesterday Mr Trump said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs, raising speculation about whether he could be undermining efforts to maintain channels of communication or somehow bolstering the diplomat's hand in possible future talks.

Mr Tillerson had acknowledged on Saturday, after meetings in Beijing with Chinese leaders, that the Trump administration was keeping open direct channels of communications with North Korea and probing the North's willingness to talk.

Mr Trump tweeted: "I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man ... Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!"

Mr Trump offered no further explanation, but last month he told the UN General Assembly that if the US is "forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

Later, after Trump arrived at an international golf competition at a northern New Jersey course, a new tweet appeared: "Being nice to Rocket Man hasn't worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won't fail."

North Korea has in recent months tested long-range missiles that potentially could reach the US, and on September 3 conducted its largest nuclear test explosion to date. The standoff has entered a new, more dangerous phase since then as Kim and Trump have exchanged personal insults and threats of war.

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