Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksOn The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Arizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems MORE (R-Ariz.) on Monday said North Korea's aggressive actions are motivated by the hope that the hostile state can strike a nuclear deal with President Trump similar to the one given to Iran during former President Obama's administration.
“I think that, right now, they don’t want to fight the United States,” Franks said on CNN's "New Day."
“The reality is that North Korea has been paying attention,” he continued, pointing to the past weapons deals Pyongyang has made with former Presidents Clinton and Obama.
The Arizona lawmaker says he believes North Korea observed the "incredible compensation" given to Iran in its landmark nuclear deal, motivating it to try to receive the same.
“And then they watched the Iran nuclear deal. In that case, there was incredible compensation given so North Korea is hoping to somehow bluff their way into greater compensation,” the House Armed Services Committee member said, adding that the deal did not force Iran to dismantle is nuclear weapons program.
Trump begrudgingly certified that Iran was in compliance with the nuclear deal in July despite fiercely criticizing the agreement as the "the worst deal ever."
Franks's remarks come at a time of heightened tensions after Pyongyang conducted a string of recent missile tests and advancement of its nuclear program.
The uptick including the latest test in which the isolated nation launched another ballistic missile over northern Japan has left Washington leaders scrambling for a strategic plan to address the escalated tensions.
Trump in a tweet early Sunday even dubbed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man.”
“Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!” the president wrote, referring to a conversation he had with South Korean President Moon Jae-in the night before.