North Korea moving ‘far faster’ than anticipated on missile, nuclear device programs: Rep. DeSantis

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Rep. Ron DeSantis talks NKorea, China sanctions

Florida congressman provides insight on 'Sunday Morning Futures' after North Korea claims successful hydrogen bomb test

Rep. Ron DeSantis on Sunday said the rate at which North Korea is moving to develop both its missile and nuclear device programs is “far faster” than lawmakers had anticipated.

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“We knew North Korea was proceeding down this route for a long time,” DeSantis, R-Fla., told “Sunday Morning Futures.” “The threat is much more immediate today than probably we would have forecast two or three years ago.”

Earlier Sunday, North Korea said it tested a thermonuclear device -- its sixth and strongest nuclear test so far -- with what it called “perfect success,” as it aims to reach its goal of having a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States.

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Following the announcement from the Kim Jong Un regime, President Trump reacted to the news on Twitter, criticizing both South Korea and China -- North Korea’s largest trading partner. In the early afternoon on Sunday, Trump said the U.S. is considering enacting a trade embargo on countries doing business with Pyongyang.

“The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea,” he said in a tweet.

DeSantis echoed the president’s sentiments, saying that while it is important to have a credible threat of force, there are ways the U.S. could stifle the communist regime on the economic front.

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“I think if you can starve Kim’s regime of sustenance of the money, then that makes his rule less secure. But I think ultimately you’re going to have to have somebody else take over for Kim … but I just don’t see him ever giving up these weapons.”

Though DeSantis said it was “too early to tell” what the exact response from the U.S. would be, he noted that brokering a deal with North Korea to end its programs and tests would likely never happen.

“The idea that you’re just going to negotiate with the North Korean regime and they are somehow going to stand down on some of this, I think that’s a fantasy,” he said. “The fact is his [Kim Jong Un] nuclear arsenal is really the insurance policy to keep him in power. He is not going to stand down on that.”

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