Colorado’s Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican from Yuma isn’t mincing words about the nuclear threat raised by North Korea: Use sanctions until it hurts the “rogue regime.”
“Our policy toward North Korea should be straight forward,” he said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “We will deploy every economic, diplomatic and, if necessary, military tool to deter them.”
Gardner chairs the Senate’s subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific. His words were much more measured than the president’s on Tuesday.
“They will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.” President Trump said at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.
North Korea escalated the rhetoric soon after, saying it could reach the U.S. military holdings in Guam with the intermediate-range missiles it first tested in May.
Gardner said Wednesday afternoon that he would continue to push sanction already allowed by U.S. law “in order to dramatically ramp up pressure that can bring Kim Jong Un to his senses and to stop what would be a dramatic loss of life on the Korean Peninsula and a direct threat to US military personnel stationed in the region.”
He said the U.S. can take on North Korea from a position of strength and to forge an alliance with China.
“China is responsible for 90 percent of North Korea’s trade, a tenfold increase in the last 15 years,” Gardner said. “It’s time to hold China accountable for their refusal to shut off trade with North Korea, and if they do not take the necessary steps to help us prevent a nuclear war, it must mean that business as usual is over between the United States and China.”
Gardner pointed to his North Korea Sanctions Policy and Enhancement Act, a sanction’s bill signed into law by President Obama last year.