Rep. Franks: Riskier to NOT board suspicious North Korean ship

It is more risky to not board a North Korean vessel suspected to have nuclear materials as cargo than to board it, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) asserted Monday.

Franks echoed Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) calls yesterday to interdict and board any North Korean ship suspected of carrying banned cargo -- an action Korean officials have said would constitute an act of war.

"Well, you know, there are risks associated with [boarding], but I think the risks of not boarding are even greater," Franks, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said during an interview on Fox News. "I think Senator McCain is correct that if we have hard evidence that there are potentially nuclear missiles or materials aboard that ship, then we should board it because these are critical days."

The U.S.S. John McCain has been been trailing a North Korean ship believed to be carrying small arms cargo banned by the United Nations. According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Naval vessel has received no orders to intercept the Korean ship.

Franks also said that if the North Koreans launch a missile test toward Hawaii, the U.S. should activate its missile defense system to shoot it down.