When asked what the U.S.S John McCain should do if not given permission to board and inspect a North Korean ship carrying suspicious — potentially nuclear — cargo, the Arizona Republican said, "That's the $64 question."
"If we have hard evidence that that ship is carrying technology, equipment, missiles that are in gross violation of the U.N. Security Council's resolutions, I think we should board it," he said.
McCain said the most important thing is for China to get more involved and do what is in China's interest, which he said was not to have "a nuclear-armed, aggressive Korea" next door. He also warned that North Korea's nuclear ambitions might propel Japan or other countries to arm themselves similarly, which China might also seek to prevent for its own interests.
He also said that while China's relations with North Korea is a vital element of its relations with the U.S., it is also in Beijing's self-interest to wield their influence. "We're not asking for an act of charity," he said. "They control their economy. They control a whole lot of things. Really they're the only nation that has influence."
Host Bob Schieffer asked about the potential launching of a North Korean missile toward Hawaii. "I'm not sure they would fire it directly at Hawaii," McCain said. "Predicting North Korean behavior — I'll predict a lot of things, but not that," he laughed. But he did believe they might launch a missile in the general area.
More from Face The Nation (6.21.09):
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