Delegate Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (Ind-MP), who is currently in China with a congressional delegation, is currently involved in negotiations to “reduce tensions” in the region in the wake of North Korea launching missiles over Japan in the direction of Guam.
In an email to Saipan Tribune, Sablan said that he, along with other members of the U.S. Congress, are in talks with government officials about what China could contribute to reduce tensions in the region.
Sablan’s email said the United States, along with “our allies and other nations in the Pacific region” should find “diplomatic means to reduce the likelihood that the North Korean regime would ever use its nuclear-armed missiles.”
“I have been participating in classified discussions about North Korean capabilities available to members of the U.S. Congress for many years now,” Sablan said, adding that the U.S. has a “sophisticated, multi-layered defense capability” that it could use in order to protect the continental U.S. and its territories, Guam and the CNMI included.
Despite current advances in defensive military technology, Sablan conceded that “no defense can be perfect” and that diplomacy to defuse the tension in the region is critical.
“North Korea’s offensive capabilities continue to grow,” said Sablan. “…The people of the Marianas and of the U.S. are right to be concerned when a hostile state, like North Korea, has powerful nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.”
Delegate Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) said in a statement that President Donald J. Trump’s administration should “intensify its efforts to work with the international committee,” emphasizing China in her statement.
Bordallo referred to the latest North Korean missile launch as “abhorrent and will not be tolerated.”
The latest North Korean missile launching was the country’s longest test flight of a ballistic missile ever. Referred to as the Hwasong-12, the missile traveled a distance of about 2,300 miles and passed over Hokkaido, a Japanese island. The missile reportedly landed in the northern Pacific Ocean.