Graham: US 'absolutely' prepared to act on North Korea

Graham: Time for new approach on N. Korea
Graham: Time for new approach on N. Korea

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    Graham: Time for new approach on N. Korea

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Graham: Time for new approach on N. Korea 00:53

Story highlights

  • Graham expressed concern over potential for "horrific" war on the Korean peninsula
  • Graham also said that "if there was going to be a war, it would be in the region, not in America."

(CNN)Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, delivered a stern warning to North Korea amid escalating tensions between the US and the rogue state over its nuclear weapons program.

"(President Donald Trump is) not going to contain the threat, he's going to stop the threat," Graham, one of the Senate's most hawkish members, said in an interview on "CBS This Morning."
The South Carolina senator said the US is "absolutely" prepared to act on the North Korean nuclear threat, one day after Trump warned that North Korea would "be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen" if they continued to threaten America.
    "There are two scenarios where we would go to war with North Korea," Graham explained.
    "If they attacked Guam, or some other American interest or our allies. Or if they try to keep developing an ICBM with a nuclear weapon on top to hit the homeland. We would act. President Trump has basically drawn a red line. Saying that he'll never allow North Korea to have an ICBM missile that can hit America with a nuclear weapon on top. He's not going to let that happen."
    Graham did express reservation over the use of military force. He said conflict would be "terrible" and said Secretary of Defense James Mattis "described it very well, it would be a horrific war, unfortunately." The Senate armed services committee member also noted that "I don't want to trust one intel report, we've learned from Iraq that you do need to be cautious."
    But Graham also said that "if there was going to be a war, it would be in the region, not in America."
    "When (Russian President Vladimir) Putin says that, you know, he didn't interfere in our election -- he was lying. When the Ayatollah (Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran) said he wasn't trying to build a nuclear bomb -- he's lying. When (Syrian President Bashar al-Assad) says he didn't use chemical weapons -- he's lying. This man, Kim Jong Un, is not lying."
    Graham continued, "He's saying that he's going to build an ICBM with a nuclear weapon on top to hit America. And I don't want to live for the next 50 years under that threat."