North Korea’s saber-rattling has many Americans understandably concerned about the prospects of nuclear war. Despite the escalation of rhetoric in the media, there are signs that the Trump administration is focused on diplomacy first.
Last week, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said, “We maintain the capability to deter North Korea’s most dangerous threats, but we also will back up our diplomats in a manner to keep this as long as possible in the diplomatic realm.” He also stated, “Our goal is to solve this diplomatically.”
There are many ways to influence North Korea’s actions short of going to war. In fact, the U.S. recently spearheaded a unanimous effort in the U.N. Security Council to impose strict new sanctions on North Korea. Through diligent diplomatic work, this critical vote was supported by Russia and China.
Additionally, the Trump Administration escalated pressure on Kim Jong Un to disband his nuclear weapons program by imposing sanctions on eight North Korean banks and over two dozen North Korean nationals working in countries like China, Russia and Libya.
We have had issues with North Korea for decades, but we have not had a major conflict with North Korea since the armistice was signed in 1953. As the former Chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee and current Chairwoman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I believe our diplomats and envoys are will do everything possible to keep our nation out of war.
Make no mistake; we cannot allow North Korea to continue to be a nuclear-capable country. The only thing that the North Korean regime understands is strength. The strength and capabilities of the U.S. military should deter Kim Jong Un from attacking the U.S. or our allies. However, if North Korea should launch an attack, I have full confidence that our superior military will annihilate North Korean forces.
Please know that as the Chairwoman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I am receiving almost constant briefings on the developments in North Korea and am closely monitoring the progress of any negotiations. While this is an especially tense time, our diplomatic and military officials are working tirelessly to keep us safe and prevent us from having to go to war.
Member of Congress