BOSTON – Massachusetts U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the East Asia Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after President Donald Trump tonight tweeted, “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
Senator Markey has introduced the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act with Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33) to limit any American president’s ability to conduct a nuclear first strike without prior authorization from Congress.
“A nuclear conflict on the Korean Peninsula would be a catastrophe, leading to the deaths of potentially millions of people, including American servicemembers and families stationed there,” said Senator Markey. “President Trump’s tweet borders on presidential malpractice, needlessly deepening a crisis and squandering a fresh opportunity to attempt diplomacy as we try to peacefully negotiate an end to North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. We cannot let this war of words result in an actual war. I call on the Trump administration to immediately commit to a credible and direct diplomatic campaign, combined with strict economic sanctions, to bring North Korea to the negotiating table. President Trump must understand that the launching of insults could lead to the launching of nuclear bombs, and that would be a calamity for the Korean Peninsula and the entire world.
“Now more than ever, it is crucial that Congress act and reassert its constitutional role as the branch of government with the sole power to decide when the United States will be the first to use nuclear weapons. The ‘cooler heads’ and ‘strategic doctrine’ that once served as our last, best hope against the unthinkable seem less reassuring with every tweet President Trump sends,” said Massachusetts’ junior senator.