CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois’ senior U.S. senator says North Korea’s apparent advances in nuclear technology are threats not only to Japan and Guam, but to the United States.
Sen. Dick Durbin says President Obama told him that he warned President Trump, right after he took office, that North Korea would be his biggest headache. That’s because, according to Durbin, North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, is irrational, has weapons of mass destruction and is almost impossible to deal with.
“President Trump came in and thought he had a new approach that might make a difference and it hasn’t,” Durbin said.
Durbin says he hopes for serious diplomacy and for leaders to realize that we have a headache on our hands that is not going away. He’s pressing for the lines of communication to be open with North Korea, even though that would be difficult to do.
North Korea’s nuclear test this weekend gave pause to leaders around the world, including Durbin, who said, “We live in a dangerous world, and this nuclear test over the weekend is an indication of how dangerous it can be.”
Durbin says, to him, it seems there are three choices, all of which are “terrible” in his opinion.
“Do nothing? Unacceptable. Confront them militarily? Hundreds of thousands will die. Sit down and try to negotiate? I know it’s been a futile effort in the past, but if we don’t try, we won’t see results.”
Although word about North Korea’s threats has quieted during times of recent troubles in the U.S., such as the violence in Charlottesville and Hurricane Harvey, Durbin says North Korea has continued to be an issue.
The U.S. plans to press the United Nations for further sanctions against North Korea.