Lawmakers continue to stress importance of Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Lawmakers in Washington remain on edge over the intensifying situation with North Korea. Fear over the North’s nuclear capabilities has them clamoring for solutions. Many lawmakers say dialogue with China will be key in diffusing the tense situation. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) says a lack of cooperation could have disastrous consequences.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) says there needs to be a more aggressive approach toward Kim Jong Un's nuclear program.

“We don’t want to fight, but if we have to we have the means,” said Cole.

Cole says his constituents need to understand just how serious the situation is. He says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is reckless and provocative, and there needs to be a more aggressive approach toward his nuclear program. Cole says China has to step up its pressure on Pyongyang.

“There’s a convergence of interests here, but you also have to recognize that there’s a limit to even what the Chinese can do,” said Cole.

Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) sits on the House Intelligence Committee. He says the Chinese can put economic sanctions on North Korea.

“It’s important for the White House to be engaging China and being tough, and I think the White House is doing that,” said Hurd.

Some Democrats want the Trump Administration to fine-tune its solutions. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) says their strategy is confusing and unsettling.

“It’s a very strange discussion, because we can’t figure out what the president is actually saying as to his position on North Korea,” said Hanabusa.

President Trump said if the Chinese don’t want to help, the U.S. could try to handle the situation without them. He also said he would be honored to meet with the North Korean leader under the right circumstances. Hanabusa says this kind of talk is sending mixed messages.

“One day the president says he needs China, but then at the same time he says he doesn’t need China. He’d welcome (Kim Jong Un) into the White House,” said Hanabusa.

On a phone call to the president of the Philippines, President Trump said the U.S. has two nuclear submarines in the Korean Peninsula region.