August 03, 2017 09:34
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham on Tuesday claimed President Donald Trump told him he is willing to go to war with North Korea if it develops a nuclear-capable intercontinental missile that can hit the U.S.
Speaking on NBC's "Today" program, Graham flatly contradicted pundits who say there is no realistic military option against North Korea. "There is a military option to destroy North Korea's nuclear program and North Korea itself," he said.
Trump "is not going to allow the ability of this madman [North Korean leader Kim Jong-un] to destroy America," he said, adding, "He's told me that to my face."
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to contain another scattershot salvo of mixed messages from the U.S. administration by telling reporters, "We're weighing all options, keeping all options on the table."
But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters the same day, "We felt the appropriate thing to do first was to seek peaceful pressure on the regime in North Korea to have them develop a willingness to sit and talk with us."
But he added there needs to be "an understanding that a condition of those talks is there is no future where North Korea holds nuclear weapons or the ability to deliver those nuclear weapons to anyone in the region much less to the homeland."
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that Washington is preparing to take retaliatory trade measures against China. The measure is aimed at pressuring China to lean harder on its ally North Korea to scrap its nuclear and missile programs.
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