(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Lindsey Graham issued a stern warning to North Korea not to “overplay their hand” stemming from its dispute with South Korea while at the same time praising the Obama administration’s handling of the tense situation.
The South Carolina Republican speculated on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that “a major war” could result if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un underestimates the resolve of South Korea in responding to provocations. If a conflict does occur, Graham predicted the South, with U.S. assistance, would emerge victorious.
Unlike the previous leadership in Seoul, Graham said that President Park Geun-hye has taken a harder line with Pyongyang and won’t put up with North Korea attacking South Korean interests.
As for Washington’s reaction to the ongoing crisis, Graham remarked, “This administration is acting responsibly, I’m glad we’re not doing the ballistic missile test, I’m glad we have the B-2’s in the theater where they can see them, I’m glad we’re telling our allies South Korea and Japan we literally have your back.”
A Minuteman 3 missile test had been scheduled for this week in California but was postponed so as not to further provoke North Korea.
Meanwhile, Graham said that as long as South Korea and Japan “trust us to be in the fight,” the two won’t follow North Korea’s path in developing nuclear weapons.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Angela Dewan, CNN
Steve Almasy, CNN
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Tim Hume and Vasco Cotovio, CNN