Arizona Senator John McCain, a Vietnam War veteran, slammed North Korea’s Friday rocket launch Sunday. “For twenty years now we’ve been going through this Groundhog Day exercise,” Mr. McCain said during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“Confrontation, followed by negotiations, followed by aid, followed by confrontation. I mean, it is remarkable how many times we have seen this movie.”
North Korea’s long-range missile technology failed to put a satellite in orbit to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-Sung. The North American Aerospace Defense Command confirmed the unsuccessful launch of the North Korean Taepo Dong-2 missile.
Mr. McCain told Bob Schieffer that China still has the ability to bring North Korea to the negotiating table. “China is the only country that can really exert influence over North Korea,” the Arizona Republican said.
China is likely to have some interest in helping North Korea conform to international norms, as a refugee crisis in the event of war with South Korea would threaten the sovereignty of China’s border with North Korea.
“In the Bush administration we lifted restrictions against them in hope that they would be coming back to the table. This is a failed policy by numerous administrations. And again, what would we suggest? Make sure China understands that this is a key issue in our relationship with China,” Mr. McCain added.
The Arizona senator was not the only public figure to take umbrage at the North Korea rocket launch. The White House and the U.N. Security Council also condemned the rocket launch.
“Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, North Korea’s provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a press statement.
During a meeting Monday morning, the U.N. Security Council called the rocket launch “a serious violation” of U.N. sanctions, according to the AP.