McCain threatens North Korea with ‘extinction’

US Senator John McCain leaves after a vote at the Capitol in Washington, DC, September 5, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

US Republican Senator John McCain has warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un against attacking America and its allies, saying such aggression will lead to the Eastern Asian country’s “extinction.”

Washington needs to "make sure that Kim Jong-un knows that if he acts in an aggressive fashion, the price will be extinction," McCain told CNN on Sunday.

The head of Senate Armed Services Committee said Washington should strengthen its missile defenses in South Korea while putting more pressure on China to stop the North’s development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

He also said that the administration of President Donald Trump should start considering deploying nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula.

"The [South] Korean defense minister just a few days ago called for nuclear weapons to be redeployed," he said, saying that the call “ought to be seriously considered."

South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo said that he and his American counterpart James Mattis had already discussed the nuclear deployment in the South, which would be a first in over 25 years.

He also called on Washington to move “strategic assets” like US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and B-52 bombers to the peninsula.

McCain was also fond of the idea, saying that the US needed to further encircle the North by expanding its military presence in the region.

Economic pressure on China

The Arizona Republican then turned to China and accused Beijing of not doing enough to stop North Korea, a problem that he suggested the US should solve by putting economic pressure on the Chinese government.

"I also think that we've got to tell the Chinese, it will hurt the United States if we lose some trade with you, but I'm telling you now, something is going to have to change," McCain said.

The Trump administration has already shown its displeasure with China, the North’s main trade partner, by imposing sanctions on some Chinese financial institutions.

McCain’s ‘vicious’ cancer

McCain who has recently been diagnosed with brain cancer, told CNN that the disease was “very vicious” but he was “confident” he would get well.

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