Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a senior Member of the Intelligence Committee, released the following statement on the continuing provocations by the North Korean government:
"North Korea's escalating series of dangerously provocative statements and actions must come to an end. The international community has long witnessed North Korean leaders undertake to provoke its neighbors and the world in the hope of exacting food, fuel or other concessions at the bargaining table, or merely to consolidate power within the insular regime. But the actions of Kim Jung Un have reached new heights of irresponsibility and present a grave risk of miscalculation.
"From declaring an end to the armistice, a state of war with its neighbor, the resumption of one of its nuclear weapons programs, a willingness to attack the United States with conventional or nuclear weapons, and the repositioning of its missiles, the North's young, untested leader has put the region into a dangerous spiral of action and reaction. Kim must not make the mistake of assuming that South Korea, with its new President, will withstand another artillery barrage or the sinking of one of its ships, as it did years ago, without a strong reprisal. The United States has taken prudent action to protect itself and its troops on the peninsula, to assure its allies' defense, and to let Kim know it takes the North's belligerent actions seriously. But the only country that the North may heed is China, whose economic support keeps the rogue nation from suffering a total collapse.
"The North Korean dictatorship cares little about the suffering and starvation of its own people, or its increasing isolation from the rest of the world. But it does fear a collapse that would endanger its own rule, and this is where China may have the leverage necessary to end the standoff. China has rightfully condemned the provocations coming from its backward neighbor, but it must do more. China has looked for opportunities to play a greater role on the world stage commensurate with its growing power and influence in Asia -- this is that moment. We must urge China to use all diplomatic and economic tools at its disposal to get North Korea to stand down from its dangerous escalation of tensions."