Reports say Trump Administration evaluating feasibility of limited military strike on North Korea; Markey reiterates there is no military solution

Washington (January 9, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, rejected the limited strike possibilities floated by the Trump administration during a time of easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Markey urged the Trump administration to build on this détente and pursue a diplomatic solution to the North Korea nuclear crisis.  He also called for additional economic sanctions on the North Korean regime and its enablers, as well as direct negotiations between the United States and North Korea. In October, Senator Markey and Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced new legislation in recognition of the need to develop a coherent and multifaceted North Korea strategy combining diplomatic engagement, sanctions, and a stronger alliance between the United States and South Korea. 


“There is no military solution to the crisis on the Korean peninsula. The bloody nose strategy floated by the Trump administration could lead to a catastrophic loss of life, including for our American military. The Trump administration should view talks between North Korea and South Korea, North Korea’s participation in the Olympics, and the reinstated hotline between North and South Korea as an opportunity to pursue a diplomatic solution to the North Korea nuclear crisis,” said Markey. “Any discussion of a limited strike on North Korea only fuels the false narrative that there is daylight between the United States and South Korea.  We should work closely with our South Korean allies to ensure a peaceful and successful Olympics and build on the improved relations to peacefully resolve this nuclear standoff.”


“But even with this break in tensions, we must remember our ultimate goal is denuclearization.  As long as Kim Jong-un, his regime, and the North Korean military continue to benefit from Chinese crude oil, illicit petroleum transfers, and proceeds from overseas labor, the threat will persist. President Trump and Secretary Tillerson need to get serious about halting North Korea’s destabilizing nuclear and ballistic missile programs by engaging in a credible and direct diplomatic campaign, combined with strict sanctions that bring North Korea to the negotiating table. As I have said before, only this combination of military deterrence, economic pressure, and diplomacy offers our best chance of peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”