PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said there are few more dangerous people in the world than North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.
“In terms of a madman capable of doing damage, there’s probably not anybody worse than Kim Jong Un,” Flake told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Tuesday.
Flake’s words came just days after another failed North Korean test of a missile that could theoretically be used to attack other nearby nations, such as South Korea. Vice President Mike Pence visited South Korea this week to ensure the country that it has the United States’ support.
“We will not allow North Korea to harm our friends or allies,” Flake said, paraphrasing the U.S. government’s stance.
Tensions between the small Asian country and the United States — along with other regional powers, such as China and Japan — have been on the rise in recent weeks.
North Korea’s deputy U.N. ambassador accused the United States on Monday of turning the Korean Peninsula into “the world’s biggest hotspot” and creating “a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment.”
Flake’s Senate counterpart, Sen. John McCain, said the North Korean standoff is President Donald Trump’s first real test.
McCain is also not a fan of the North Korean leader. The senior senator called Jong Un a “crazy fat kid” during an interview in March.
Flake said he is pleased with how Trump has handled the situation thus far.
“You’ve got to let them know that all the options are on the table,” Flake said.
The senator said he supports all of America’s options but would not say what he believes the country — and Trump — should do.
“I don’t think it’s responsible for anybody to say what we’ll do and what we won’t do at this point,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.