Corker on Fox News Urges Obama Administration to Deploy Missile Defense Capabilities on East Coast, Questions Changes to European-Based Missile Shield
WASHINGTON - Appearing on Fox News Sunday today, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, applauded U.S. placement of missile interceptors in Alaska following recent North Korean nuclear and missile tests but urged the Obama administration to also locate missile defense capabilities on the East Coast to guard against threats from inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). He also questioned the administration’s decision to cancel a portion of the European-based missile defense system originally agreed to as part of Senate negotiations over the New START treaty with Russia.
“I do hope we'll focus on a base on the Eastern side [of the U.S.] with radar facilities. And I think the question is, Chris, how does the non-deployment of the European base system affect us over time? So there are technical issues we'll be getting into this week with the Pentagon and the State Department. But, certainly, I think most all of us applaud the efforts to beef up our missile defense on the West Coast,” Corker said.
Regarding the threat to the U.S. from North Korea, he noted the importance of precautionary measures being taken by the U.S. and China’s ability to change North Korean behavior.
“I don't think they have the mechanisms necessary to really harm us, but it is really good we are taking the precautionary measures to make sure they cannot do damage,” said Corker. “[A]ll of us understand the key to this will be China. They are the ones that can actually affect the behavior in North Korea because of the trade issues and certainly the support issues coming from China into North Korea. Hopefully, China sees the threat for nuclear proliferation in that part of the world, in the event they are not able to stop what North Korea is doing.”