US lawmaker urges collapse of N.Korea

A senior US lawmaker called Friday for nations to seek the collapse of North Korea's regime through economic pressure, saying that the latest crisis showed the failure of years of diplomacy.

Representative Ed Royce, a Republican who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that young leader Kim Jong-Un was carrying out "provocative acts" largely to extract concessions from the United States and South Korea.

"My suggestion... is that instead of repeating the old pattern and rewarding him for bad behavior, which is the same thing we did with his father and grandfather, that the international community now cut off the international banking system to North Korea so that the regime collapses," Royce told CNN.

He was referring to Kim Il-Sung, the founder of the communist dynasty, and his successor Kim Jong-Il.

Royce said that concerted international economic pressure could influence the generals of North Korea's powerful military who "decide they don't like not getting paid."

Royce has long advocated a tough line on North Korea and has tried to prohibit the United States from offering food to the impoverished state, saying that such humanitarian aid would strengthen the regime.

His remarks follow those of Senator Jim Inhofe, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee of the Democratic-led Senate, who said that the United States should be prepared "right now" to attack North Korea.

Inhofe said Wednesday that a military strike would "get their attention" and argued that Kim Jong-Un, who is in his late 20s," is "deranged" rather than a rational actor.

North Korea has issued apocalyptic threats in recent weeks, including saying it was preparing a nuclear attack against the United States. South Korean officials said that the regime has shifted missiles to its east coast.

US President Barack Obama's administration took the unprecedented step of announcing a bombing test by nuclear-capable B-2 bombers and has led through the United Nations a new round of economic sanctions against the North.

Despite North Korea's charges, the Democratic administration has not clearly advocated the toppling of Kim's regime and has said, along with South Korea, that the door remains open to eventual dialogue.