The threat from North Korea has increased in terms "of scale, scope, and sophistication," and China needs to be more engaged to ensure a peaceful solution is reached, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, said Monday.
"They've moved from liquid to solid fuel, which allows them to be more stealthy and more reliable in what they're doing," the Wyoming Republican told a CNBC's "Squawk Box," panel discussion.
"This missile over the weekend was 1200 miles high," said Barrasso. "The capacity to get to our troops and our facilities in Guam is there. We need to be engaging China. President Donald Trump did that with President XI [Jinping]."
North Korea on Sunday tested a mid-to-long-range missile that for 489 miles on a trajectory that reached an altitude of 1,312 miles. To reach the United States mainland, a long-range missile mounted with a nuclear warhead would need to fly 4,800 miles or more, and contain the technology that would allow the warhead to re-enter the earth's atmosphere.
Barrasso said he was in China and Japan talking about the dangers, so "everything's on the table. What we want is a peaceful solution to this."
The United States wants to make sure the Korean Peninsula does not have nuclear weapons, Barrasso continued, and the best way to do that is to make sure China is engaged as its partner.
"Often we don't have overlapping interests with China, but we do on this," said Barrasso. "They don't want North Korea at war with the rest of the world, but 90 percent of the resources that go into North Korea come through China."
China plans to stop the purchase of coal from North Korea, which will stop the flow of a great deal of money, said Barrasso, and the United States "can put all the sanctions that we want on North Korea. There have been a lot of ways and loopholes around it. China is going to be the active participant."
Meanwhile, former NATO Commander James Stavridis, also on the morning show's panel, warned that are two "streams of threat" when it comes to North Korea, and they're coming within 18 to 24 months of crossing each other's paths, which could cause significant issues for the United States.
"One is the miniaturization, the hardening of nuclear weapons," the retired admiral and current dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University said.
"The other is the ballistic missiles, the ability to deliver them at range. It's like in 'Ghostbusters,' you don't want those streams to cross. They're going to cross in the next 18 to 24 months. As I look at the technology and the reports I get, it's accelerating, not decelerating."
Meanwhile, Barrasso later told Fox News' "America's Newsroom," that the North Korean missile test was a "failure," but he thinks it was a success "from their standpoint in terms of the delivery of a missile [going] that far and with that capacity."
"They've done more testing in the last three years than they had in the run-up to that," said Barrasso, and Kim is "ruthless and needs to be isolated."
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