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 CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails The Memo: Like the dress or not, Ocasio-Cortez is driving the conversation again Ocasio-Cortez defends attendance of Met Gala amid GOP uproar 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 TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race 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.