• Sen. Markey urges more sanctions against N. Korea, less 'fire and fury' rhetoric

    Updated:

    WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D - Massachusetts) is a staunch critic of the Trump White House, but he says the president didn’t go far enough with sanctions against North Korea.

    President Donald Trump made it clear Tuesday that he's not willing to mess around when it comes to North Korea.

    He said that if North Korea escalates the nuclear threat, "they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen," according to the Associated Press. 

    Markey, however, is also warning President Trump to tone down rhetoric against the country so things don’t turn catastrophic.

    “The president seems to be threatening military action against the North Koreans,” Markey said Tuesday evening. “There is no military solution.”

    Sen. Markey sits on a bi-partisan nuclear non-proliferation task force. he is a long-time advocate for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, but the Senator says news Tuesday that North Korea has nuclear capability means the U.S. must act decisively.

    “President Trump should tone down his rhetoric, put even tighter sanctions around the North Koreans and then go to the negotiating table,” he explained.

    Sen. Markey says the United Nations sanctions against North Korea are good, but do not go far enough.
    He says we must tighten sanctions like we did against Iran.

    “Iran said we’d rather have an economy than a nuclear weapon and that’s the choice we must now give to North Korea,” he said.

    The senator says if the entire world refuses to do business with Kim Jong Un, then he will be forced to broker a deal.

    “Then say to North Korea, now let’s go to the negotiating table and negotiate on your nuclear weapons program,” he said.

    He added, the president must move quickly.

    “Time is of the essence. The defense intelligence agency is telling us that they are moving very rapidly towards the development of an ICBM (inter-continental ballistic missile) that can reach the United States,” said Markey.

    Trump earlier Tuesday tweeted: "After many years of failure, countries are coming together to finally address the dangers posed by North Korea. We must be tough & decisive!"

    U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley told NBC's "Today" show that she isn't sure whether the sanctions will work. North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, has expressed no interest in walking away from his nuclear and ballistic missile program, and the country has survived past sanctions.

    But Haley says the sanctions force Kim to rethink his "endgame." She said: "He has to decide. If he strikes the United States, is that something he can win?"

    MORE: North Korea, Trump exchange threats: Live updates

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