It was no surprise that North Korea's missile launch was a "fizzle" Saturday night, as most of President Kim Jong Un's past attempts have been failures as well, Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland said Sunday
"In the last year, President Kim of North Korea has launched over 30 missiles," McFarland told "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace. "Most of them have failed. So it didn’t come as a surprise to us. We were expecting something, particularly surrounding the birthday of his grandfather.”
Saturday marked the anniversary of the 1912 birth of Kim's grandfather, Kim Il Sung, who was North Korea's founder. The government marked the anniversary earlier in the day with a massive parade showing off the country's military and large missiles.
McFarland, however, declined comment on speculation that the United States had sabotaged the North Korean missile launch.
She did urge patience on whether Chinese President Xi Jinping should be pushed to use trade measures and other options to put pressure on North Korea, which conducts about 80 percent of its trade with China.
“It’s like your kids in the back of the car on a long trip saying, ‘When are we going to get there?' ” McFarland said. “Well, in this case, I think we should give the Chinese president some opportunities and some time, as well as pursuing the economic and diplomatic pressures that we have and that our allies have that we can bring to bear on North Korea.”
President Donald Trump is going to deal with the North Korean threat in his first year of office, said McFarland, but at the same time, trade is still up between China and North Korea.
However, she said, "the Chinese president gave an indication that he would be willing to work with President Trump and with other allies to try to see what could be done."
McFarland also discussed the shifts in Trump's policies toward China and Russia, saying that Trump's changes on China came after meeting its president. He has not yet been able to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, she continued.
"We would like to have a good relationship with Russia, but Russia has been doing some things of late, whether it's in Syria, whether it's with American democracy, that we really -- we take very seriously," said McFarland. "The ball is in their court. We’d love a great relationship with them, but it's up to them to take those first steps and to stop taking the steps that could potentially adversely affect us."
She also discussed Trump's decision to delegate authority back to the military, where "it was in the Reagan administration."
"We do not have a president who is going to be sitting there picking out bombing targets," said McFarland. "He's left that up to the military, so far, with a few tragic exceptions. But so far, the military has been terrific. I mean, look at Syria attacks on the airport that was used by the Syrians to deliver those chemical weapons. That was done completely successfully. It was done quickly. And it was done with enormous effect I think."
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