WASHINGTON -- A US senator urged China on Tuesday to use the same aggressive approach to North Korea that it has used to punish South Korea for hosting a US missile defense system.
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) made the comment as North Korea has fired ballistic missiles and carried out its sixth nuclear test in defiance of international sanctions.
|US Sen. Cory Gardner. (Yonhap)|
"China has actually carried out its vindication. It's a vindictive campaign against South Korea, vindictiveness over the deployment of a missile defense system in South Korea," he said in an interview on CNN.
The senator was referring to China's economic retaliation for the deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in South Korea, which it views as a threat to its security. Seoul and Washington insist it is a purely defensive measure aimed at countering North Korea's missile threats.
"China has cost South Korea's economy $7 billion, $8 billion, $9 billion," said Gardner, who serves as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs. "If they were to take that same aggressive approach to North Korea, we could actually see something different today."
China has more than 5,000 companies currently doing business with North Korea, the senator said, providing the regime with resources that enable its weapons program.
"It's time that China stand up to those businesses and say enough is enough. We need to sanction those businesses," he said. "So instead of aiming their fire at South Korea, it's time for China to actually aim it at North Korea." (Yonhap)