McConnell: North Korea is problem without a solution; offers Obama advice on ISIS

01/06/2016 09:29 PM

LEXINGTON — With increasingly aggressive actions abroad, politicians are searching for answers, but in some cases those answers are as complicated and uncertain as the times.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered his advice on Wednesday to President Barack Obama in confronting Islamic extremists in the Middle East, but when it comes to international posturing from North Korea, he conceded that the answers are not that simple.

On Wednesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told his countrymen that they had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, but White House officials were quick to question whether or not the country had indeed detonated a nuclear device.

According to CNN, a test of some type is likely given a 5.1 magnitude seismic event on Tuesday, which could correspond to an underground nuclear detonation.

The communist dictatorship had tested atomic weapons in the past, but experts says a hydrogen bomb would be a major step forward for Pyongyang. Hydrogen bombs can be thousands of times more powerful than the type of weapons the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Speaking to Pure Politics on Wednesday in Lexington after a Commerce Lexington Inc. luncheon, McConnell said that North Korea won’t be reigned in without help from the Chinese. The Kentucky Republican said the Chinese will be hesitant to act fearing a “meltdown” in the region and an influx of North Korean refugees into their nation.

“It’s a very vexing problem,” McConnell said. “I don’t have a particular solution to it — neither have recent administrations of both parties.”

Meanwhile, while speaking to members of Commerce Lexington, McConnell did offer advice to the White House on the ongoing fight against Islamic State militants in the Middle East.

Using George H.W. Bush as a model for conflict in the region, McConnell said Obama needs to “come up with a game plan to take out ISIL.”

“The game plan at least would include the following plan: America comes up with the plan. America provides the air power. America provides special operations,” McConnell said, adding that Obama should tell the Saudis, Jordanians, Egyptians, and other countries that they need to provide the ground troops and provide the number of troops needed.

McConnell has been critical of decisions to remove troops from Iraq and has asked Obama to keep an occupying force in Afghanistan.


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