(WASHINGTON) — In a full day of testimony Wednesday before the House Foreign Affairs and the House Appropriations Committees, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about continued concerns over Benghazi as well as the significant role China ought to play in North Korea.
Much of Wednesday’s hearing focused on lingering Benghazi questions from Republican committee members, who maintained the State Department and the Obama administration were still not being forthcoming with information. Kerry denied that the State Department was not being transparent and promised the members that he would work with committee members to get them whatever they still needed, but said the time has come to “move on.”
“At some point we’ve got to find a way to make a judgment here about how much information we have and how much information is sort of somewhere out there…that might contribute something further here constructively,” said Kerry. “I do not want to spend the next year coming up here talking about Benghazi. Let’s put this behind us. We’ve got serious, major, big, current, important, vital to our national security issues to be debating.”
On North Korea, Kerry stressed, again, the important role China needs to play in getting Kim Jong-un to stop its provocations. Kerry said the United States really has no influence on the regime, besides flexing military muscle.
“I think it’s very clear from the last 15 or 20 years that the United States of America doesn’t have direct influence with North Korea other than the military threat. And that has huge risks and dangers with somebody as untested, as provocative and who has already proven himself willing to be reckless over the course of the last months,”said Kerry.
“China does have a relationship. China provides almost three-quarters of the fuel to the North. China is a significant banking conduit for the North. China provides significant food aid to the North. I think it’s fair to say that without China, North Korea would collapse,” he said.
Kerry, the former senator from Massachusetts, touched on the Boston attack at the beginning of both hearings Wednesday.
Kerry grew emotional as he spoke about checking on his friends and family, and shared that the granddaughter of one friend was “fighting to keep her legs” after being injured in the blast.
“You know, Boston is not going to be intimidated by this,” said Kerry. “But we’re going to find out who did this.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Barbara Starr, CNN
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