Cruz: 'It’s time for North Korea to fear what America will do next'

Cruz: 'It’s time for North Korea to fear what America will do next'

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzInviting Kim Jong Un to Washington Trump endorses Cornyn for reelection as O'Rourke mulls challenge O’Rourke not ruling out being vice presidential candidate MORE (R-Texas) on Tuesday pushed for stronger economic sanctions on North Korea to put its leader, Kim Jong Un, “on his heels.”

“We’ve spent nearly three decades wondering what North Korea would do next. It’s time for North Korea to fear what America will do next,” Cruz said in an opinion piece published in The Washington Post.

Cruz labeled North Korea a “mafia state,” saying it depends on partners to help it work around sanctions and pursue a nuclear program.

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To combat this, Cruz called for increased economic sanctions on both North Korea and third parties, such as banks that support the country, to cut off economic support.

Cruz, who praised the Trump administration's policies toward North Korea, also warned against lifting sanctions to allow North Korea to participate in next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea. North Korea said earlier this month it would send a delegation of 500 people to the Olympics.

“What the American people expect, and our allies need, is courageous leadership that forces Kim to respond on our terms and our timing,” Cruz said. 

Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have been high in recent months. President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE has repeatedly taunted Kim Jong Un, calling him “short and fat,” nicknaming him “Rocket Man” and bragging that his nuclear button is bigger than the North Korean leader’s. 

North Korea late last year claimed it successfully launched a new type of ballistic missile that is capable of reaching anywhere on the U.S. mainland. 

The Trump administration responded with additional sanctions. 

Kim Jong Un in a New Year’s Day message indicated he would be open to diplomatic talks with South Korea.