Threats of military action between the U.S. and North Korea are at a fever pitch, but that doesn't mean the two powers are headed to war, former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, who chaired the House Intelligence Committee, tells Newsmax TV.
And, in fact, China has let North Korean leader Kim Jong Un know that he has only two choices: continue your present path in pursuing a nuclear arsenal and face imminent death — or back off and preserve your cushy regime.
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"I don't think a war is inevitable," Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican, said Tuesday to Bill Tucker on "America Talks Live."
"The U.S. and its allies slowly are putting the screws to North Korea. Most importantly, China putting the screws to North Korea and basically threatening this current regime.
[China] is saying . . . your regime will be eliminated and most likely you'll end up dying in a confrontation."
He said China is letting North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un know that his ruling family is in a "pretty good position, much better than their populous. And it would be in their interest to continue the current situation where they're ruling."
"[If] they put their military ambitions aside . . . they can live a pretty good life. The rest of the North Koreans will have a miserable life, but the ruling class will continue to be OK," Hoekstra said.
He noted that China has really awakened to the threat North Korea poses with its continued missile tests and sable-rattling about launching nuclear weapons,
"I think now China realizes that finally it is in their best interest to put the lid on North Korea, on their military program and those types of things," said Hoekstra, a senior fellow at the Investigative Project on Terrorism and author of "Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya."
"Because a destabilized Korean peninsula, a destabilized Asia is not at all in their interest."
Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday during his visit to Japan that the U.S. will not relent until it ensures the Korean Peninsula is free of nuclear weapons.
After meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders, Pence told reporters President Donald Trump is confident economic and diplomatic pressure may persuade North Korea to cooperate.
"It is our belief by bringing together the family of nations with diplomatic and economic pressure we have a chance of achieving a freeze on the Korean Peninsula," Pence said.
"We will not rest and will not relent until we obtain the objective of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula."
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