McConnell On North Korea
‘We have only a few weeks ahead of us to provide the Department of Defense with the certainty that we are responding to its funding needs and providing the stability in programs and resources required to fulfill our strategy. Each of us talks about these goals. Each of us talks about what we owe the all-volunteer force. How we work together in the coming days is the test of those statements.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the threat posed by North Korea and the need to provide the necessary resources to the Department of Defense:
“Earlier this week, North Korea tested what appears to be an intercontinental ballistic missile which exceeded the altitude and time of flight of previous missile tests. Public reporting is that the missile achieved an altitude of 2,800 miles and traversed a lofted trajectory landing 620 miles from the launch site within North Korea.
“The test reminds us of the single-minded determination of Kim Jong Un to develop a nuclear-armed ICBM which can successfully strike the United States. That leaves our nation with limited options. The first is to convince Kim that any use of a nuclear weapon will result in an overwhelming response – one which he will deem unacceptable.
“The second is to remove any missile which our intelligence community assesses is armed and can strike the United States or our allies. These are grave considerations, but they are unavoidable. As Commander-in-Chief, the president focuses on these matters daily.
“In facing these threats – whether through diplomatic negotiations, preparing to deter or to defeat a launch, or a significant decision to protect the United States preemptively—the United States needs to unify and rally our allies in each of these courses of action. That in itself is a herculean task. What makes it considerably more challenging is the uncertainty surrounding our efforts to increase funding for our military here at home.
“In April of this year, we as a body attended a briefing on North Korea at the White House. The administration has been forthcoming on both the urgency of the threat, and their determination to face it through a policy of maximum pressure and preparedness.
“We have only a few weeks ahead of us to provide the Department of Defense with the certainty that we are responding to its funding needs and providing the stability in programs and resources required to fulfill our strategy. Each of us talks about these goals. Each of us talks about what we owe the all-volunteer force. How we work together in the coming days is the test of those statements.
“Certainly we can set aside partisan differences at a time when North Korea, Iran, Russia and the Taliban are seeking to bully our allies and questioning our will and our leadership. Now is the time to come back to the table, meet our responsibility by providing the Defense Department the resources and certainty it requires, and answer those questioning American resolve.”
Related Issues: North Korea, Homeland Security