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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

North Korea's Threats

August 14, 2017
Weekly Columns
For decades, the United States has grappled with the unpredictable and dangerous regime of the Kim family, from Kim Jong-il to Kim Jong-un. The world has witnessed human rights violations, economic hardships and the volatility of the Kim government. Moreover, for years, the United States and its allies have attempted to keep the North Korean government from procuring a nuclear weapon and the means with which to deliver it. However, in recent weeks it has become evident that Kim Jong-un has most likely succeeded in his efforts and probably has the capability of striking the United States with a nuclear weapon.
 
In the past six months, North Korea has tested 18 missiles, including two intercontinental ballistic missiles. Unfortunately, it would be no surprise if Kim Jong-un attempted to test more. The Kim regime has even threatened to target the U.S. territory of Guam. However, Kim Jong-un’s reckless threats were responded to with a strong, assertive warning from President Trump that the U.S. is capable of responding ten-fold.
 
America has a robust military presence in the Pacific. With our missile defense capability, our strong naval and air force, and nearly 30,000 U.S. soldiers in South Korea, the United States is more than capable of countering any missile launch or other acts of aggression.
 
Additionally, strict economic sanctions against North Korea have recently been implemented to further discourage the regime from continuing on their dangerously reckless path of aggression towards the United States. Furthermore, China has slowly started to make it clear to North Korea that if they provoke a confrontation with the United States, they can expect fierce retaliation from us and that China will not necessarily come to their defense. In our effort to halt North Korean aggression, it is critical that China continues to play a role in putting economic and diplomatic pressure on the Kim regime.
 
As our nation’s leaders strategize and pursue diplomatic options for the Korean peninsula, I am confident that the United States is prepared militarily should North Korea continue to act irrationally. For decades, the United States has attempted to use diplomacy to stop North Korea from attaining a nuclear weapon. We will continue to do so. America has spoken softly and patiently for over 50 years. However, North Korea would be wise to remember that we also carry a very big stick.