Chris Murphy

Photo via Senate Democrats/Flickr (CC-BY)

U.S. senator says we should assume Trump will launch war against North Korea

'Why assume it's just bluster?'

 

Andrew Couts

Tech

Published Oct 10, 2017   Updated May 22, 2021, 2:49 pm CDT

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Monday afternoon warned Americans to stop treating President Donald Trump‘s aggressive stance against North Korea as “just bluster.”

“It’s time to take Trump seriously as he keeps hinting, over and over, that he wants to go to war with North Korea,” Murphy began a thread on Twitter. “Trump’s war drum rhetoric seems like over the top braggadocio but why assume it’s just bluster? Other bluster (Muslim ban) led to action.”

Murphy’s warning follows months of simmering tension between the United States and North Korea, which experts believe recently acquired the ability to launch an international nuclear attack and may soon be capable of targeting the U.S.

Trump’s verbal attacks against North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong-un, began in earnest in early August, when the president threatened to meet North Korean threats with “fire and fury.” The president would later go on to dub Kim “rocket man,” a belittling insult he used during his speech before the United Nations, during which he vowed to “totally destroy North Korea” in the face of an impending North Korean attack.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has repeatedly pushed back against the notion of military action against North Korea, while Trump has maintained an antagonistic approach.

“Trump keeps intentionally cutting the legs out from underneath Tillerson and any diplomatic path,” Murphy wrote. “There is purpose here it seems.”

Foreign policy experts have consistently warned against war with North Korea, as doing so stands a high likelihood of the country launching an attack on South Korea or another neighbor, which could result in millions of lives lost.

Murphy, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joins the committee’s chairman, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), in criticizing Trump’s inflammatory leadership style. Corker invited Trump’s ire after warning in a recent New York Times interview that the president’s threats could set us “on the path to World War III.”

“He concerns me,” Corker said of Trump. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”

Continuing his Twitter thread, Murphy addressed Trump’s impromptu comments after a recent meeting with U.S. military leaders during which he suggested the event was the “calm before the storm” while refusing to disclose what he was talking about.

“Many of us have begun to hear whispers of more serious war talk in and near the White House. ‘Calm before the storm’ comment sent chills,” Murphy wrote. “Timing of Corker’s comments, referencing possibility of World War III, might not be accidental.”

During his keynote address before the Association of the U.S. Army on Monday, Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis said he does not know what may transpire with regards to North Korea but called on the U.S. Army to “be ready.”

“There’s one thing the U.S. Army can do, and that is you have got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our president can employ if needed,” Mattis said, according to CBS News.

Murphy closed his thread by calling on Congress to require lawmaker authorization before any military action against North Korea. “Now is time—before it’s too late—for [Republicans] and [Democrats] to make clear no preemptive strike against [North Korea] can happen without a vote by Congress,” he wrote.

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*First Published: Oct 10, 2017, 10:01 am CDT