Congressman Sherman Responds to President Trump’s And Secretary Mattis’ Irresponsible Comments on North Korea
Washington, D.C. – Following the President’s comments that if North Korea continues to threaten the U.S. then it will be “met with fire and fury like the world has never seen before,” and Defense Secretary James Mattis’ warning that if its aggression continues the regime could face the “destruction of its people,” Ranking Member Sherman of the Asia Pacific Subcommittee Brad Sherman released the following statement:
My district in California’s San Fernando Valley is among the closest to the rapidly developing North Korean menace, and I am fully cognizant of the threat North Korea poses to our allies, American forces in the region, and the U.S. mainland.
“President Trump’s statement was reckless and puts American lives in danger; his remarks undermine the credibility of the American Commander in Chief to act as a rational world leader, and his rhetoric demonstrates that America is willing to escalate tensions in the region so casually rather than show resolve to defend against threats.
“References to nuclear war by Defense Secretary Mattis are also troubling. The Administration should not speak flippantly about nuclear war.
“To confront North Korea, we do not need hot tempered remarks from our Commander in Chief. We need a clear strategy that includes stronger economic and political pressure, and the key to that would be to get China fully on board.
“Despite his promises, President Trump has largely failed to take action against China for allowing its companies to continue to conduct business with the North Korean regime. We need to impose secondary sanctions on China if it continues to serve as the lifeline for the regime in Pyongyang.
“It is also critical that current U.N. and U.S. sanctions on North Korea are strictly enforced. Those who violate these sanctions should be penalized; those that do so are endangering Americans and our allies.
“At the same time, we need a willingness to engage in compromise. We will not get what we want anytime soon – there will be no denuclearization in the foreseeable future. But we can achieve intermediate steps, such as a freeze.”
Additional Background: On August 2, 2017, Ranking Member Sherman and Chairman Ted Yoho (R-FL) of the House Foreign Affairs Asia Pacific Subcommittee sent a letter to the Secretary of Treasury Mnuchin and Secretary of State Tillerson regarding the sanctioning of Chinese businesses that provide hard currency to the North Korean regime’s illicit weapons programs and the enforcement of U.S. and other sanctions in place on North Korea. To view the letter, click here.