All 100 senators were invited and transported by bus to the unprecedented, classified briefing on North Korea.
President Donald Trump’s secretary of state, defense secretary, top general, and national intelligence director outlined the North Korea’s escalating nuclear capabilities and U.S. response options. President Trump delivered opening remarks.
Senator Coons expressed confidence after the meeting, “If Kim Jong Un continues provocative actions–nuclear tests, the testing and development of increasingly capable missiles, and explicit threats to attack the United States or our troops or allies in the region—we are well-prepared to take action against him. However, it was made clear in the briefing today, as has been said publicly, that the United States is not seeking regime change, is not seeking any excursions north of the DMZ (demilitarized zone), and would prefer a peaceful, stable, denuclearized Korean Peninsula.”
The North on Tuesday conducted large-scale, live-fire artillery drills, witnessed by national leader Kim Jong Un, as a reminder of its conventional threat to U.S.-allied South Korea.
And on Wednesday, South Korea started installing key parts of a contentious U.S. missile defense system against North Korean missiles that also has sparked concerns from China.
“If China has concerns about the deployment of the THAAD system, the best step to take is to pressure Kim Jong Un to meet China’s policy goal, which is a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. That is in the interest of everyone, that is in the interest of stability and that would promote regional security,” said Coons.
The briefing team is to meet later with House members in the Capitol.
Lidia Louk, Lixin Yang, NTD Television