PHOENIX — Retired Arizona congressman Matt Salmon said it’s clear that what we’ve been doing for the last 15-20 years with North Korea is not working.
“Strategic patience is what the policy’s called, and it doesn’t work,” said Salmon.
The Republican once led the Asia-Pacific sub-committee for foreign affairs.
“The last time that we tried to pacify North Korea under the Bush Administration by lifting the sanctions in exchange for them coming to the table and talking, it was a miserable failure,” Salmon said.
“Because they just lied,” he said. “They didn’t stop the nuclear research in any way shape or form.”
Salmon said he still spends a lot of time in the region, going more than 40 times to China, South Korea and Japan in the last few months and he’s headed to Taiwan next week.
The topic for all of those regions is always the North Korea issue.
“We have to continue to let them know that in no uncertain terms that all options are on the table and that we will not let them do another launch,” Salmon said. “We’ve got to make that really clear.”
Salmon added he won’t second guess the president’s response, and said Trump has a lot of smart people around him.
“Both who are diplomats and who are military advisors,” Salmon said. “And he needs to get everybody in a room and he needs to find out what the best options are and then pursue that.”