WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the most recent missile test by North Korea:
"Once again, the Kim Regime in Pyongyang has conducted an illegal test of the Musudan Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile, flouting international law and putting the United States' partners and allies in the Asia Pacific region at risk. Each test by North Korea, carried out in spite of robust international sanctions, puts them closer and closer to developing a capability that could threaten the United States directly.
"The President tweeted that our commitment to our Northeast Asian allies is unbreakable, and while true, that is simply not enough. The policies of both Republican and Democratic Administrations toward North Korea have failed to halt the Regime’s pursuit of illegal weapons. The United States must develop a comprehensive strategy, working with all our allies and partners, to break the resolve of the Kim Regime and bring them back to the negotiating table.
"Beijing deflects responsibility for this situation by blaming the United States and South Korea for taking defensive measures that 'provoke' a response from Pyongyang, such as the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in South Korea or the annual U.S.-ROK military exercises. However, Beijing must understand that the United States is serious about the North Korea problem and it is a strategic imperative for us to do what's required to defend ourselves and our allies. While we would welcome cooperation with Beijing to solve this pressing challenge, we cannot stand idly by while North Korea continues to subvert our strategic interests.
"China, which accounts for more than 90 percent of North Korea’s external trade, should demonstrate its potential as a regional leader by fully enforcing global sanctions to curb Kim Jung Un’s illegal and dangerous weapons program and applying further pressures to bring Kim Jung Un back to negotiations.”