Reiterates calls for immediate direct negotiations and restricting first use of nuclear weapons


Washington (August 10, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s comments to the press that his previous “fire and fury” threat in response to North Korea’s provocative behavior perhaps “wasn’t tough enough.”


“President Trump’s escalatory rhetoric is exactly the wrong response to dealing with North Korea’s provocative behavior, said Senator Markey. “It unnecessarily heightens the risk of miscalculation and creates the very fog that can lead to war.  Instead of scaring our allies and the American people by always trying to top North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric, President Trump should instead immediately authorize the State Department to engage in direct discussions with North Korea.  Talking is not a concession, it’s just common sense.  We also must ensure that President Trump cannot turn his ‘fire and fury’ rhetoric into reality with a pre-emptive nuclear strike by passing the legislation I introduced with Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) that prohibits the President from doing so without a declaration of war from Congress.”


Earlier this year, Senator Markey and Representative Ted W. Lieu (CA-33) introduced legislation that prohibits the President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress or in response to a nuclear attack on the United States or its allies.