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Arizona congressman says DC’s North Korea rhetoric aimed at trade partners

A man watches a television screen showing President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

LISTEN: David Schweikert, Arizona Congressman

PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman said strong rhetoric concerning tensions with North Korea is not directed at the small Asian country, but the nations that trade with it.

“I’m going to make you an argument that much of what you’re hearing coming out of Washington (D.C.) isn’t actually for the consumption of North Korea,” U.S. Rep. David Schweikert said.

“It’s actually for the consumption of China and countries that do trade with North Korea.”

Schweikert said the harsh rhetoric was intended to remind other nations that they are the reason North Korea has been able to survive economically.

“It’s actually telling the rest of the world, ‘You need to stop enabling this corrupt, rogue regime,'” he said.

President Donald Trump has been engaged in a war of words with North Korea for several weeks, though things have escalated in the past few days.

Trump warned the nation that it “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it continued to threaten the United States, prompting North Korea to announce it was considering an attack on Guam, a U.S. territory.

Schweikert said, though it may sound alarming, the tone of the conversation should be downplayed.

“I beg of folks, be less concerned about the tone of the language and be much more focused on the actual facts of the situation,” he said.

That didn’t mean Schweikert viewed the situation as a nonissue. He said the matter wasn’t a game and intimated that a policy of strategic patience toward the country was no longer working.

“Up until now, 20-some years of this patience has brought something very bad to this world,” he said.

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