Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) criticized President Bush’s comments on nuclear proliferation. As the Ranking Member of the House International Relations Subcommittee on International Terrorism, and Nonproliferation, Sherman is the senior Democrat on the nuclear proliferation issue.
During his Ask President Bush Event, the President commented that he would keep the United States safe from North Korea’s nuclear program because he was talking with North Korea at Six Party talks and working with China and Japan. Later in his program, he stated that “I’m never going to turn over our national security needs to leaders of other countries…”
“The Bush Administration has refused to take the steps necessary to get China to put economic pressure on North Korea,” said Sherman. “The Administration has refused to put any economic pressure on China to stop, halt or condition Chinese subsidies to North Korea on the renunciation of the North Korean Nuclear weapons program. China has a $125 billion annual trade surplus with the United States – we import $6 of goods from China for every $1 they purchase from the U.S.”
“It is about time the President does something serious about the North Korean nuclear weapons program,” said Sherman. “Failing that, he should honestly admit to the American people that an unstable nation identified by him as evil is going to be able to retain nuclear weapons and we are not going lift a finger to do anything about it – except we will attend talks. The safety of Americans cannot be assured by a foreign policy that includes begging North Korea to forego its nuclear weapons program in front of four observer countries. George Bush has shown great skill at disguising an incredibly weak foreign policy.”
“We can use our economic power to pressure North Korea – but only if we are willing to inconvenience corporate America. It would be good if the President would be honest about this to the American people,” added Sherman.