The gulf between President Trump’s White House and Congress seems to be expanding as some senators express grave concern about the way in which tensions between the U.S. and North Korea are escalating.
Three Democratic senators on Wednesday proposed new legislation that would force President Trump to get Congressional approval before being permitted to deploy any conventional or nuclear weapons in response to Pyongyang’s threats.
The leading proponent of the bill is Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat representing Connecticut, who is supported by Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Cory Booker of New Jersey.
Senator Murphy announced his move on Twitter, writing that the bill “makes clear that any unauthorized preemptive strike on N Korea – nuclear or conventional – is illegal.”
According to HuffPost, the new bill is in addition to legislation that was reintroduced into Congress in January by California Representative Ted Lieu and Senator Ed Markey from Massachusets in January. The slightly different bill clarified that Trump would not be allowed to launch a nuclear missile without a formal declaration of war issued by Congress.
Murphy further explained his stance on Twitter, stating: “Trump’s North Korea threats are real. A mistake by Trump could kill hundreds of thousands on Korean Peninsula.”
For all the Republicans breaking w Trump, here is your chance to actually constrain his most dangerous power - to make war.— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 26, 2017
The legislative action in Congress comes hot on the heels of North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, issuing a warning the U.N. General Assembly’s disarmament committee that, at this rate, “war may break out at any moment.” The U.N. has already placed harsh sanctions on Kim Jong-un’s regime.
Despite such loaded rhetoric being reasonably common for North Korea, the game-changer is the fact that President Trump is responding to their threats with equal aggression.
In September, Trump said that he would “totally destroy” North Korea after he referred to Kim Jong-un as “rocket man.”
Meanwhile, Itsunori Onodera, Japanese Minister of Defense, urged both the United States and South Korea to take heed as the threat from the North has reached “critical and imminent” levels. Onodera reportedly requested that his counterparts assist his country in taming North Korea and its fiery leader.
The Whitehouse has announced its intention to keep the channels of diplomacy open if a peaceful resolution can be agreed upon. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson clarified that America is willing to negotiate with Pyongyang, but only “until the first bomb drops.”
President Trump will be traveling to South Korea early in November as part of a diplomatic trip to Asia, where he is expected to celebrate the importance of the relationship between Washington and Seoul.
Although Vice President Mike Pence visited the Korean Demilitarized Zone earlier this year, it is unclear whether Trump will do the same.
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]