“Here's a young guy we don't know very much about – have very little intel on him, so we just need to make sure that we don't assume why he's doing what he's doing because he could be doing what he's doing for any number of reasons,’ said Southerland, characterizing Cheney’s remarks.
The former vice president spoke to GOP lawmakers, at the invitation of Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.).
Cheney’s comments come amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, as the North has threatened nuclear war against the South and the U.S.
In recent weeks, Pyongyang has cut off military communications with Seoul, moved missiles to its eastern coast and shut down a joint economic zone. The provocations came after the UN approved tougher sanctions on the rogue regime after it conducted its third nuclear test earlier this year.
The Obama administration has called on North Korea to ratchet down its rhetoric and to return to negotiations over its nuclear weapons program.
The Pentagon has said that it is taking the threat from the North seriously, with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel deploying additional missile interceptors to Guam and Alaska and stepping up training exercises with the South.