Intel Committee Ranking Member Schiff Statement on North Korea


Date: Aug. 9, 2017
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Foreign Affairs

Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement:

"There is no question that the threat posed by the North Korean regime is real and growing more dangerous each day, and it is incumbent on the United States to do whatever is necessary to protect the nation and our allies. As I have said since the beginning of this Administration, left unchecked the North Koreans are likely to be able to marry their nuclear capability to an increasingly sophisticated intercontinental ballistic missile technology capable of striking the United States.

"Secretary Tillerson is right to emphasize a diplomatic resolution of this growing danger to the world. While nothing can be taken off the table, the military option would be catastrophic and involve a potentially massive loss of life -- American, South Korean, Japanese and North Korean. President Trump would be well to keep this in mind. The erratic and fiery belligerence of his statements and tweets do little to defuse the situation and threaten to make a bad situation worse. He should let Secretaries Tillerson and Mattis, and UN Ambassador Haley do their jobs without taking actions that hamper their efforts.

"The economic sanctions levied by the United Nations Security Council this weekend are a positive step as they hold the prospect of further choking off trade supporting the regime. Increased economic pressure may improve prospects that North Korea will choose diplomacy over further weapons development and provocation. The power of these sanctions to coerce North Korea will depend largely on whether China will enforce them; we will need to monitor this closely and inform China that secondary sanctions on Chinese banks, an expanded U.S. naval presence in the region and broader missile defense may be necessary if the existing efforts are unsuccessful."