Tags: North Korea | Trump Administration | ben cardin | trump | authority | north korea

Ben Cardin: No Authority for Trump to Hit North Korea First

Image: Ben Cardin: No Authority for Trump to Hit North Korea First
Sen. Ben Cardin (AP)

By    |   Friday, 03 November 2017 01:03 PM

A high-profile Democrat in the Senate said President Donald Trump does not have the authority to launch an attack at North Korea, pouring water on claims that the U.S. could pre-emptively hit the reclusive nation without congressional approval.

According to Roll Call, Ben Cardin, D-Md., spoke with C-Span's "Newsmakers" about the crisis on the Korean peninsula as North Korea continues to threaten the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons.

"Congress has not authorized the use of force, so the president does not have the authority to pre-emptively use force," said Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"Now, the president's commander in chief, and when he makes orders obviously the military will follow those orders. What we are saying is under no circumstances should we be using nuclear weapons and we should not be looking at a preemptive strike. What we should be looking at is a surge in diplomacy."

Past administrations have tried to use diplomacy to curb North Korea's nuclear weapons program, but those efforts have fallen short. Reports suggest that Kim Jong Un's military already may have nuclear-capable weapons in its arsenal. 

Cardin said the Trump administration has made the situation worse with tough talk.

"They've created the crisis. President Trump has made it worse with his rhetoric and his statements about whether he is with or without our allies," Cardin said. "A military option is not where we want to be. The consequences would be catastrophic.

"The current trend is not acceptable. We don't want North Korea to develop a delivery system that could reach the continental United States."

Trump departed Washington, D.C. Friday for a trip that will take him to Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines from Nov. 3-14. He has no plans to stop at the DMZ separating North and South Korea.

Cardin's C-Span interview will air Sunday.

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A high-profile Democrat in the Senate said President Donald Trump does not have the authority to launch an attack at North Korea, pouring water on claims that the U.S. could preemptively hit the reclusive nation without congressional approval.
ben cardin, trump, authority, north korea
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2017-03-03
Friday, 03 November 2017 01:03 PM
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