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Rand: N. Korea, Syria Why I Object to Some on GOP Side Being Unwilling to Talk to Putin, Other Superpowers

Wednesday on CNN’s “New Day,” Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) reacted to North Korea’s possible successful detonation of a hydrogen bomb the day before.

Paul acknowledged there were no easy solutions to North Korea’s aggressive actions, but insisted the answer exists in bringing the regions superpowers into the mix, which includes China and Russia under the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I think we have placed sanctions before,” Paul said. “We certainly have some sanctions. We can increase those. I think also, China can have some influence as well. China is a big player in the region. North Korea in many ways is dependent, co-dependent with China. And I’ve advocated for a long time this is why we should talk to the other superpowers because they have a great deal of influence with North Korea. This is why I object to some on the Republican side, like Fiorina, Rubio and those who say we’re not going to talk to Putin. While Putin has pluses and minuses, Putin has a great deal of influence in Syria the same way China has a great deal of influence in North Korea.”

“What I’m saying is there are no easy solutions,” he added. “You want me to magically wave a wand and all of a sudden their nuclear weapons are gone. What I’m pointing out is that it’s so important that we understand what went wrong with the negotiations and maybe there was too much leeway in the negotiations. Some of the same people that negotiated the North Korea agreement were the same people that recently negotiated the Iran agreement. This is one reason I objected to the Iran agreement – because I don’t want to get the situation where we are with North Korea where your options are somewhat limited. When we negotiated with other superpowers like Russia or China, there was a certain rationality to the negotiations over limiting nuclear weapons and having a mutual reduction in nuclear weapons. There doesn’t seem to be the same rationality in North Korea, so it is more worrisome. But I think it is inappropriate and mischaracterizing my position to say we’re just going to do nothing. Obviously, we will do everything we can to prevent them from developing and using a hydrogen bomb or any nuclear weapon.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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