Blumenauer Statement on North Korea and Trump’s Inflammatory Rhetoric

September 26, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) today released the following statement condemning Trump’s fiery rhetoric on North Korea and calling for a diplomatic approach:

“The North Korean regime has not just tested a nuclear bomb and intercontinental ballistic missiles, it’s testing American patience and resolve. Obviously, the North Korean problem is not going away any time soon. It is a crisis that has been building for years. It must be dealt with directly and carefully.

“Yet, Trump continues his failure of American leadership when it comes to Pyongyang. His use of inflammatory rhetoric increases the national security risk to the United Sates and our allies. His statements escalate tensions, increase the potential for accidental conflict, and serve only to embolden the regime. During his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly, he stated that the United States may have no choice but to ‘totally destroy North Korea.’

“At the same time, he has threatened to end the agreement America reached with Iran and five major world powers to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons program – inviting them to walk away from the agreement itself. His disdain for this carefully crafted framework sends a clear signal to North Korea that it makes no sense to negotiate with Donald Trump. If he turns his back on an agreement that Iran has upheld, why would North Korea negotiate with such an unstable individual?

“And Iran isn’t the only example. Trump has also made reckless references to treaties with Japan and South Korea. He has demonstrated a lack of understanding of the threat of nuclear proliferation.

“By all means, let’s go as far as we can with sanctions to increase pressure on North Korea. Yet, they have proven adept at developing techniques to evade them and have marched forward. When it comes to dealing with difficult countries like North Korea and Iran, the administration must ultimately recognize and embrace a strong, multilateral, diplomatic approach. This is the only way to deal with the challenges posed by a nuclear North Korea and to constrain Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

“This is why over 80 percent of Americans support diplomacy. Whether it’s working with international partners to pursue multilateral negotiations, or establishing a private, diplomatic back-channel to reach an accord, diplomacy is the only path forward to safety, peace, and stability.”

 

Blumenauer is a leader in Congress on establishing more rational nuclear policies. He’s worked throughout his career to reduce the development and threat of nuclear weapons for the sake of our safety, global stability and fiscal sanity. This year, he introduced legislation, the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act that would cut or eliminate redundant nuclear weapons programs, while saving the United States more than $100 billion over the next 10 years. He also joined Rep. Ted Lieu to introduce H.R. 669, legislation prohibiting any president—including the present one—from conducting a first-use nuclear strike without prior authorization from Congress.

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