The following is a transcript from a Fox News interview with Mark Dubowitz and Julie Banderas for America’s News Headquarters on the Fox News Channel on June 3, 2017.
Julie: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis dialing up the pressure on North Korea, calling the rogue regime a “clear and present danger.” The Pentagon chief speaking at a security conference in Singapore where he also warned Beijing about its activities in the South Cina Sea. Let’s bring in Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Thank you very much for talking to us.
Mark Dubowitz: Thank you.
Julie: When we look at what the Defense Secretary is saying here, he’s essentially saying that they believe that China is in fact and they’re encouraged by China’s efforts to curb North Korea’s nuclear program, so that’s encouraging. Then, if you look at what China did on Friday by blocking tough new sanctions against North Korea, pushed by the United States and the UN Security Counsel, that doesn’t exactly sound like playing ball to me, so what say you?
Mark Dubowitz: Well, Julie, the Trump administration is understandably doing what other administrations have tried to do in the past, which is bring the Chinese on board because they’ve got the most economic and political leverage North Korea. The concern of course is that China will break this administration heart the way it’s broken the way it’s broke in other administrations hearts and doing nothing, and effectively not using their leverage because at the end of the day the Chinese are more concerned about the collapse of the North Korean regime than they are concerned about a nuclear tipped ICBM in the hands of that regime.
Julie: Do you think China’s putting enough pressure on North Korea?
Mark Dubowitz: I don’t, I don’t. I mean, the Chinese could do far more. The Chinese are still a major trading partner with North Korea, the biggest trading partner with North Korea to the tune of about $60 billion, and they dwarf anybody else in the world in terms of economic engagement with this North Korea regime. We’ve got to put significant pressure on the Chinese, and we’ve got to shut down these illicit financial and economic networks that sustain the North Korean regime.
Julie: Okay, so what then, and what do you make of the Pentagon’s chief warning? The chief is warning Beijing about its activities in the South China Sea.
Mark Dubowitz: Well, absolutely. That’s important shot across the bow literally because the Chinese are trying to essentially militarize these islands in the South China Sea. We’ve got to send carrier groups to the South China Sea. We’ve got to underscore the freedom of maritime navigation, and we’ve got to send again a message to China that we’re not going to allow this aggressive activity to continue. It’s activity that got worse and worse under the Obama administrations.
Julie : All right. Mark Dubowitz, we appreciate you coming on. Sorry we ha to cut it short. We have some news at the top of the hour. Thank you so you much.