Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says he thinks China is the key to keeping the erratic North Korean regime in check.
The Bowling Green Republican said Beijing can put even more political and economic pressure on North Korea, after that country suffered an embarrassing failed missile launch last weekend.
“I do agree with the Trump administration that talking to China, and trying to get China involved, is an important part” of getting North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un “to behave,” Paul said.
Speaking to reporters at his Bowling Green office Monday, Paul said China has tremendous leverage with Pyongyang given North Korea’s economic woes.
“They don’t produce enough food to feed themselves. It’s an inhospitable place—it’s cold and barren.”
North Korea has long been a threat to the U.S. and its Asian allies South Korea and Japan.
Paul says the worst-case scenario involving North Korea would be an attack on its southern neighbor, a major U.S. ally.
“We do stand by South Korea, but even if that were to happen, the president should come to Congress and ask for a vote, because the Constitution doesn’t allow for him to go to war without our approval.”
The Trump administration hasn’t ruled out a military strike against North Korea.
But Vice President Mike Pence this week held out the possibility of holding negotiations with North Korea, saying the U.S. was seeking security through negotiations.
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