One of Trump’s biggest critics went on Meet The Press Sunday morning and spoke on the significant impact North Korea can have on a Donald Trump presidency.
Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. John McCain (R-Az) warned that North Korea would be the first big test for Trump’s presidency. He said:
‘There are artillery on the border between North and South Korea that can reach Seoul, and we can’t take them all out before… I mean, this is very serious. This may be the first test of this presidency.’
At issue is the fact that if Trump reacts to the instigations of North Korea, he could provoke the irrational Kim Jong-un to retaliate by firing on South Korea. McCain says that with China having control over North Korea’s economy, they could easily shut it down. With the fact that Trump has flip-flopped on his stance and beliefs of China being a currency manipulator, McCain said it did not matter either way.
‘But China can shut them down. Whether they are currency manipulators or not, we should expect them to act to prevent what could be a cataclysmic event.’
With the heightened tensions, North Korea did try to attempt a missile launch test Saturday; however, it failed. McCain noted that, saying they would continue to make progress over time.
‘The North Koreans keep making progress. They had a failure yesterday… At the same time, they have made steady progress.’
He then blamed the steady progress not on Trump, but on past Republican and Democratic presidencies. This is where the North Korean issue grows even more problematic. As North Korea progresses, when do we react to their progression to stop them from firing on American ground or American allies?
Chuck Todd asked McCain if the economic and trade incentives that could be offered to China in exchange for them to act on North Korea were worth it. McCain basically said that relying on our own defense capability of intercepting any such missile targeted at the US would be risky.
‘To prevent North Korea from having a missile with a nuclear weapon that could strike the United States, and we would have to rely on our ability to intercept it, and by the way I’m told we do have that ability, is still awfully risky business.’
He went on and reminded people of the most obvious fact about North Korea and its leader — he’s nuts.
‘This guy in North Korea is not rational. His father and his grandfather were much more rational than he is.’
Sadly, the same could be said about our commander-in-chief. Regardless, he used the irrationality of Kim Jong-un as a reason why the military option should not necessarily be the first option, as it would risk the lives of millions in Seoul.
‘I think you never want to do that. Again because of the proximity of North Korean artillery to Seoul… a city of how many million people. But, at the same time, to risk a situation where they have that ability and where we rely on our ability to intercept, this could be the first real test of the Trump presidency.’
You can watch the entire interview below.
Featured image via screenshot.