Paul: U.S. needs help from China in easing tensions with North Korea

04/20/2017 06:25 PM

CLERMONT – With tensions between the U.S. and North Korea escalating, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is looking to China for help in keeping the isolated communist country in check.

Both sides have escalated their rhetoric, with North Korea warning of a “super-mighty preemptive strike” against the U.S. and South Korea that would reduce them “to ashes” as American warships head to the Korean Peninsula.

Paul said China, North Korea’s only major ally, should help keep peace in the region.

“I think China can be very influential with North Korea,” Paul told reporters Thursday after meeting with Bullitt County economic leaders at Jim Beam Distillery. “North Korea’s socialized economy is barren like the landscape. They don’t produce enough food for themselves, they suck most of the energy of the country into their military and their missiles, and so I think they rely on China for a great deal of support.

“I think we need to convince China that we have no real ambitions in North Korea. We just want there to be stability, and that message needs to get through loud and clear to North Korea and I hope it does.”

As President Donald Trump deploys warships to the Korean Peninsula, Paul voiced opposition to Trump’s decision to bomb Syrian sites after a chemical attack thought to be carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“I don’t like unilateral action by any president, Republican or Democrat, so I did not favor the bombing in Syria,” Paul said. “In fact, I think it’s unconstitutional for the president to go to war without the approval of Congress. I will continue to fight to say we should hold to an original understanding of the Constitution, and that is that Congress decides when we go to war.”

With Congress set to come back from the Easter recess next week, some House Republicans have resumed work on legislation to repeal and replace the federal health law known as Obamacare.

This year’s effort fizzled as Paul and other conservatives balked at the American Health Care Act, which Paul termed “Obamacare lite,” and the senator said lawmakers will return to Washington with full plates waiting for them, especially with a government shutdown looming if a spending agreement can’t be reached by April 28.

“We have a budget that still needs to be passed, we have tax reform we’re talking about, repealing Obamacare as well as the spending issue, so there is a lot going on, and it’s going to keep us busy,” Paul said.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers Kentucky politics and all the goings-on at the State Capitol. Kevin was born and raised in Frankfort so he grew up around politics and has always had the drive to follow the political process and hold lawmakers accountable. Before joining Spectrum News Kevin covered government and politics for The State Journal in Frankfort. You can watch Kevin’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135.

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