Lindsey Graham to Democrats: Either 'Peace or War' with North Korea

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina asked his Democratic colleagues Sunday to join him in supporting military force against North Korea if the upcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un doesn’t end in an agreement.

“If diplomacy fails, will you support my efforts to authorize the use of military force as a last resort to convince North Korea and China that things are going to be different this time?” he said on ABC News. “Donald Trump is not going to capitulate, so there’s really only two options- peace or war.”

Graham added, “...if diplomacy fails, as a last resort, Democrats and Republicans need to put the military option on the table or we’ll never get a good deal.”

Democrats were quick to denounce Graham’s plea. New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who was on the same show, said, “I love my friend Lindsey Graham, but I think we need a chance at peace.”

“I'm not ready to give an authorization for the use of military force to this president or any other one until I understand that the path for peace is not attainable," he said.

Senator Ed Markey, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday Graham’s suggestion could escalate into a “catastrophic” situation.

“There is no military solution to the problem on the Korean Peninsula,” he said. "North Korea has nuclear weapons. The United States has nuclear weapons. This isn't like the United States and Iran. Iran did not have nuclear weapons. Neither did Iraq. This would become very catastrophic very quickly."

Kim Jong Un and Trump have shared a rocky relationship leading up to the summit. Trump called the North Korean leader “little rocket man” on Twitter in September. Kim also released a statement in September that said he will “surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”

In May, Trump announced he would meet Kim in Singapore on June 12 in a tweet that said “We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!”

The meeting was briefly called off when a top North Korean official said the county was ready for a nuclear showdown and called Vice President Mike Pence “a political dummy."

“We’re meeting with the chairman on June 12 and I think it’s probably going to be a very successful -- ultimately a successful process,” Trump said.

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