Gingrich: Obama ‘Pretty Correct’ on Korea Approach

Friday, 05 Apr 2013 08:46 AM

By Lisa Barron

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says President Barack Obama's approach to dealing with the Korean crisis is “pretty close to correct,” a statement he acknowledged would likely surprise people who are used to him being mostly critical of the administration.

Speaking Thursday night on CNN's “Piers Morgan Live,” the former Republican presidential candidate said, “This may shock you, but I think the president has actually been pretty close to correct in the way he’s handled this.

“I think having the B-2s go there, making them visible, indicating we're prepared to be as tough as we need to be, having a senior officer say earlier today that . . . if this does come to war, we will replace the entire regime — it's not going to be some game. I think all those things are about right,” Gingrich continued.

Watch Newt Gingrich's interview. Story continues below video.

“And then I think the question is to sort of bite your tongue and be quiet and let's see what happens.”

Gingrich cautioned, however, against any stronger actions, as some in Congress have suggested.

“We don't want to push him into a corner where he thinks that in order to save face and save his seat back in Pyongyang that he has to start a war,” he said. “So we want to be firm, we want to be clear, but we don't want to increase the temperature of the water.”

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Gingrich also told Morgan he agreed with fellow guest Robin Wright, a foreign affairs journalist and analyst with the U.S. Institute of Peace, who said earlier on the show that nobody fully understands the young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un or the nature of his regime.

“Nobody fully understands what Kim Jong Un is thinking. Nobody understands the whole nature of the regime,” Gingrich said. “It's a very hidden, very secret, in many ways very strange regime. I don't think the South Koreans understand it, the Japanese understand it, or the Chinese.

“So all of us are standing around watching this guy who's dangerous. Now, he's not likely to do anything, and if I were betting I would bet he probably won't. But it's a pretty high-stakes bet,” he added.

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