- The Washington Times - Friday, August 11, 2017

Sen. Rob Portman said Friday that the U.S. must follow through on the “red line” with North Korea if necessary.

“I think the right approach is to be strong and that will have a deterrent effect, I believe. That’s certainly what all of us hope for,” Mr. Portman, Ohio Republican, said on CNN.

But Mr. Portman said those words need to be backed up with action if the situation requires it, something he said was a failure of the Obama administration.

“I think we do need to honor our ‘red lines’ and, as you know, in the last administration, we failed to do that on occasion and that had a tremendous effect not just on our enemies but on our allies,” he said.

Mr. Portman did say the retaliation by the U.S. would not be a full-scale war, but would be, as President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described, “swift” and “forceful.”

“Should there be a pre-emptive strike by North Korea, the response will be swift, it will be forceful, and that should deter them from taking any actions against Guam, or South Korea or Japan, or certainly our shores,” he said.

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