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U.S. diplomats wasting time with ‘crazy people’ running North Korea: McCain

Senator says its ‘damndest foolishness’ to attempt negotiations with Kim Jong-un

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The United States has for decades tried diplomacy to deal with North Korea, and Sen. John McCain is fed up with it.

Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican and Vietnam veteran, on Tuesday morning said such efforts are a waste of time. Anyone who thinks the "crazy people" running North Korea will respond to diplomatic efforts, he added, are misguided.

"These diplomats that continue to believe for the last 30 years that somehow we can sit down across the table and make them see reason. I don't blame Dennis Rodman, but I certainly blame these people for not learning the lessons of what has happened over and over and over again with North Korea," Mr. McCain said during an interview on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal."

"It's the damndest foolishness and hubris on the part of our diplomatic corps and administrations, Republican and Democrat," he said.

Mr. McCain singled out Bill Richardson, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and governor of New Mexico. Mr. Richardson has made several trips to North Korea in recent years.

The most recent American to visit the isolated, nuclear state is NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman — a visit Mr. McCain was asked about during the C-SPAN interview.

"I thought it was just ludicrous," Mr. McCain said. "But what's more disturbing is people like Bill Richardson, highly respected, that keep going back and visiting them and coming back and saying we're in a good place."

Mr. McCain didn't offer a specific alternative to diplomacy.

But in a separate interview, Mr. McCain told Foreign Policy Magazine that the U.S. should "take out" the next missile launched by North Korea as a method of demonstrating American military capabilities.

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