The damages that would come from war with North Korea would be “worth it” over the long term, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham.
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“All the damage that would come from a war would be worth it in terms of long-term stability and national security,” the South Carolina Republican said in an interview with CNN this week.
His comments were amid reports from several sources that President Donald Trump’s administration is considering military action against North Korea, should leader Kim Jong Un’s regime build a nuclear missile that could hit the United States.
According to the officials, it’s feared that if North Korea achieves full nuclear power, it could share its technology with Iran, Pakistan, Libya or other nations, and that would be more dangerous to the United States than conventional military action, even if there are civilian and military casualties.
Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also said that the United States has drawn a “red line,” when it comes to North Korea.
“I’m completely convinced that President Trump and his team reject the policy of containment,” Graham said. “They’ve drawn a red line here and it is to never let North Korea build a nuclear tipped missile to hit America.”
Trump spoke with South Korea President Moon Jae-in on Thursday, and according to a readout of the call, both parties said they agree that dialogue with North Korea must be “conducted with the explicit and unwavering goal of complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.”
The United States is also concerned that there could be a nuclear arms race in the region if North Korea becomes a full nuclear power, as Japan may also become one.
Several officials are warning that a diplomatic solution should remain the goal when it comes to North Korea, and that there are other ways to stop the country from further missile development, including keeping up economic and political pressure.
Even within Trump’s administration, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis oppose the use of military force against North Korea, saying that should only be used after everything has been exhausted.